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3 1 














Copyright, 1909 

Second frMing ....... 














and nature of the undermind: the psychology 
of the New Testament (Soul an4 Spirit) * . * * 38 





THE three levels: Intelligence in the lower centres: co- 
operation of the overmind with the lowest level : co- 
operation of all three levels 5* 



(ACTIVITY of the cells The cells a colony The under- 
mind and the cells) 4 





(MICROBES What medicine has done) .,.... 79 



NERVOUS control: doctors and suggestion: normality of 
mind-cure: limitations in mind-cure: hypnotism . . 86 



(THE evidence of Christianity Functional and organic 
Power of the mind) , ... 100 



MIRACLE: mental and spiritual: the unworthiness of the 
minister: the source of life: growth of sptntuai ca- 
pacity: suggestion: faith, and grace . . * * no 






(RECORD of St. Mark St. Matthew St. Luke -Si 
John Table of the healing works of Christ) . . 141 





FAITH : were the miracles evidential ? 161 



WORD, touch, telepathy, suggestion 175 







LIST of the miracles : the persons who healed : faith in the 
name: methods employed * *93 





RESERVE as to Christ's works : reasons for this reticence : 
reserve as to the work of the Church : The Eucharist 
and health: gifts of healing 202 



(SELFISHNESS and sacrifice Sickness and sin The war 
with disease) 216 



THE teaching of St. James: growth of the mediaeval 
view: Roman Catholic teaching ....,., 227 









THE first three centuries: the liturgy of Serapion; oil, 
water, and bread : combination of spiritual and med- 
ical treatment: drugs * . . . ; %$t 





LAMPS : relics : incubation : mediaeval shrines : the pilgrim 268 


(CANONISATION R. H. Hutton on Miracles) . . . . 286 





THE rite since the Reformation: the present English 
Prayer Book: The revival of Unction in the Angli- 
can Church : The non- jurors and Unction : Lambeth 
Conference * * . 300 



AMERICA and Europe: the shrines of Greece. . , . , 312 






THERAPEUTIC importance of religion : miracles, not proof s 
but signs, (i) that seeking health is a religious 
duty; (2) that pain is not God's will; (3) of the 
fundamental nature of the Spirit: doctors, parsons, 
and nurses 329 



HEALTH: the true meaning of Salvation: peace , 341 








INDEX * . 421 




Director of The Society of The Nasorene 

IT is significant that in the twelve years or more 
since this book ws written and published by Dr. 
Dearmer in England, it still remains the most com- 
prehensive and satisfying work on the subject of 
Religious Healing. 

Dr. Dearmer is a member of the Advisory Com- 
mittee of the Guild of Health, an English Society 
for the promotion of Spiritual Healing which works 
along similar lines to the Society of The Nazarene 
(founded 1909) and the American Guild of Health 
(founded 1921) in the United States. 

Unlike the many healing cults which have sprung 
up during the past decade, these three societies one 
in England and two in America have sought to 
promote their objects by conservative methods and 
have attempted to correlate the best modern thought 
of Religion, Philosophy and Science in the great task 
of healing the sick and ameliorating the sufferings of 

This volume most worthily reflects the point of 
view and the broad eclectic philosophy of those 




within the Churches who believe whole-heartedly in 
the healing function of the Christian Religion as 
taught by its Founder and as set forth and demon- 
strated in the New Testament Scriptures. 

Many who become interested in the subject of 
Spiritual Healing, either through reading some 
periodical or through lectures or sermons, ask for 
advice in the matter of reading. The writer of this 
preface receives many such requests. The market 
is flooded with literature on this subject and the 
amateur may well be perplexed as to where would 
be the best place to begin any constructive course of 

To such enquiries the writer always recommends 
this volume, because, after reading much that is 
mediocre and irrelevant, he finds it to contain the 
fundamentals of spiritual healing, covering alike the 
history, philosophy and modern developments of 
this fascinating theme. 

Those within the Church who ardently seek the 
diffusion of reliable information on this subject of 
Healing feel grateful to Dr. Dearmer for his lucid 
and forcible presentation of a difficult thesis. This 
subject is no longer taboo among orthodox circles. 
As taught and practised by the above-mentioned 
societies on both sides of the Atlantic, this tiew 
movement for the revival of the Ministry of Heal- 
ing within the Church is sponsored by the Bishops 
of Winchester, Salisbury, Coventry and Kensington 
in England; and by Bishop W. T. Manning of New 
York, Bishop C. H, Brent of Buffalo and Bishop 
Theodore I. Reese of Columbus, Ohio, together with 
about twenty-five other Bishops of the American 


Episcopal Church, in addition to numerous clergy of 
the non-episcopal Churches in the United States. 

These will all feel grateful to the American pub- 
lishers of this work for their commendable enter- 
prise in making accessible to the American reading 
public this admirable volume. 

The two books recently written by my prede- 
cessor, the Rev. Henry B. Wilson, B.D., "Does 
Christ Still Heal?" and "God's Will for The 
World," are published by the same firm and these 
and other works by the same author will prove 
excellent collateral reading for those who are study- 
ing this present volume. 

As Director of The Society of The Nazarene, 
may I add that I am recommending this book to 
every member of our Society and consider it 
especially valuable as a text-book for Group study. 


Director, S.N. 
S, Barnabas? Day, 1923 

North Carolina. 





THERE are signs of revival in Christendom, This 
revival has about it an air of spontaneity that is 
very remarkable. It has not sprung from the 
clergy, nor has it originated in the Universities. 
Rather it would seem as if the average man, who 
as often as not has not belonged to any religious 
body* is finding his way by himself because of some 
voice within him. There is an Epiphany pre- 
paring; and from all quarters of the world the quiet 
tramp of many feet is heard; the tramp of men 
and women, walking through the darkness with 
some decision towards a centre where heaven and 
earth, they think, are met together. 

They have no quarrel with orthodox Christianity ; 
for the era of negations and protestations has passed 
away. But neither have they any allegiance- In- 
deed, they are a little impatient about dogma. And! 
this is not to be wondered at : dogma to them means 


disputation about words, and the waving about of 
phrases. We cannot blame them for condemning it, 
if it has been presented thus to them as a superficies ; 
and we are bound to admit that this superficial treat- 
ment of religious truth this barren orthodoxy 
which is the most dangerous of heresies has been 
a characteristic of the age from which we are 
emerging. Perhaps it was the inevitable result of a 
custom that required every minister of religion to 
be a perennial fountain of eloquence, and every 
place of worship to provide from three to six dis- 
courses a week. Religion has been beaten rather 

That which is a solid has in fact been treated as 
a superficies and indeed much religious teaching- 
has been further reduced to a line, which geometry 
tells us is length without breadth. Texts from the 
Bible and articles of the Creeds, religious phrases 
and theological terms, have been tossed about with 
little realisation of their vital meaning. And I 
think this is what the public has in mind when it 
shrugs the shoulders at dogma* 

Besides, it may be doubted whether any religious 
movement ever began with theology* As the move- 
ment grows, the dogma forms as surely as the bonts 
form in the unborn child- We cannot do without 
bones; and yet bones without flesh and blood, like 
dogmas, are useless, except for the fertilisation of 
the soil. 

Thus, I think, it is that at the present time a 
movement is forming amongst tts, a great move* 
tnent which, when it arrives, will have changed 
many familiar coast-lines* It is profound, sincere, 


and very wide-spread indeed, it stretches beyond 
the borders of Christendom. But it is essentially 
Christian, essentially orthodox; and it may thus 
prove to be a unifying as well as a converting 

No one can indeed say how this stirring in our 
midst may develop, or what it may eventually be- 
come. But at least two enthusiasms are real and 
religious amongst us at the present day : of the 
one the belief in man's brotherhood and the con- 
sequent duty of social service it is not here the 
place to speak. The other enthusiasm which is 
already moving men forward at the present time is 
a certain belief in the supremacy of the spirit which 
is not easy to define or describe in a few words, 
since it hardly as yet possesses a vocabulary that 
would be at once understood. The words Salvation 
and Peace ought exactly to express its basis, but 
their meaning has long been limited and changed. 
Professor James "the religion of healthy-mind- 
edness " describes one aspect ; but for common use 
we may, I think, justly include all the phases of 
this new enthusiasm in the title, Inner Health 
Movement. On its negative side this movement is 
a reaction against the materialism of the last gen- 
eration, and against the ferocity of a once dominant 
theology which is no doubt a reason why it is 
strongest in America. It is also clearly a reaction 
against the high pressure and material aims of 
modern life. On its positive side this movement 
has its most striking and popular manifestation in 
faith-healing every genuine instance of which 
bears witness to the forgotten reality of spiritual 


forces: thus for a large circle of persons (who had 
been brought up, like most of us, to connect ^ cer- 
tainty with matter and uncertainty with religion) 
spirit has taken the place of matter as the supreme 
and ultimate reality. Body and Soul have changed 
places. The practical results of this are very 
marked; a new conception of life is growing up, a 
new desire for prayer, a new type of character ; and 
the world, which had been scared by the Chris- 
tianity of the long face and the round head a per- 
version as common in Catholic as in Protestant 
Christendom is much drawn to the idea of a 
religion that is cheerful and valiant, sweet-tern- 
perecj, confident, unfretted. 

Religion, we are seeing, comes with healing in its 
wings health for the soul and health for the body ; 
it is harmony, balance, happiness, peace. 

And nothing of all this is the least new. It is 
as characteristic of the New Testament as that 
other enthusiasm, of brotherhood, which I have 
mentioned. It had only been forgotten. For as 
it is new. For God, and for the saints in heaven, 
it is eternal; but for us, after centuries of embit- 
tered and contentious religion, after fifty years of 
scientific naturalism, after a revolution of thought, 
it comes as fresh and as dazzling as those high 
Alpine flowers that fling out their colours at the 
melting of the snows. 

So it is that the kingdom of Heaven is like a 
householder bringing forth from his treasure-house 
things new and old. To the first disciples it was 
said that there were many things yet to break forth 
from the Word, "but ye cannot bear them now/* 


There are some things which now we can bear, and 
others which future generations will come to under- 
stand when we have done our work and passed be- 
yond. Upon us lies the responsibility neither to 
neglect things because they are old nor to reject 
them because they are new. 

If we consider the general commands of Christ 
we shall see that they are both old because they 
were given long ago, and new because they are the 
message of the prophets who lead onward to-day. 
Also we shall see that no age has even tried to 
keep them all. The advanced reformers, for in- 
stance, all over Europe and America, and the 
Colonies (that is, all over Christendom) are but 
trying to realise the doctrine of brotherhood which 
our "Lord taught so thoroughly; and this doctrine 
had been forgotten in Christendom no one could 
say that " Love one another " was a guiding prin- 
ciple of the eighteenth century or the seventeenth- 
-not to mention the sixteenth. Again, the call 
to personal religion, the need of individual conver- 
sion, were dominant motives of Protestantism; yet 
in their right insistence upon this, people forgot 
the corporate and the sacramental side, and those 
who heard Christ gladly when he said, "Repent, 
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," * gave little 
heed to the command, " This do in remembrance 
of me." a 

Again, the Middle Age was a period in which 
the hold of Christianity upon Christendom was re- 
ft Matt 4* 7 , It Ss curious, by the way, how very rare are 
such sayings as this among the words of our Lord, and how 
much stress is laid on what comes after repentance. 
Luke aa**, etc. 


tnarkably complete. In many striking ways men 
obeyed as they have not done since. Yet one great 
command of our Lord was almost entirely neglected 
in Western Christendom between the tenth and the 
sixteenth centuries "Make disciples of all the 
nations." * For six hundred years Europe lay in- 
trenched within her own lines, shrinking before the 
advancing hordes of Islam. The City of God in 
the Middle Ages was a walled city. 

Thus have men, failed to reach the fulness l of 
the Gospel So difficult is the paradox of per- 
fection! To gain and yet to lose, to forsake the 
world and yet to possess it, to be meek and also 
brave, to take the sword and to find peace, to be 
humble and yet triumphantly confident, to repent 
and to rejoice; to love God and the sinner who 
is against him; to be intensely individual and in- 
tensely social, to care about secular good and to 
live in the light of eternity, to be very busy like 
Martha and yet with Mary to rest in God ; to find 
the highest spiritual grace in homely material or- 
dinances; to believe in personal conversion and to 
believe also in the Church (that fellowship where 
wheat and tares grow together) ; to love freedom 
and to obey; to reverence the past, to rejoice in 
the present, and to regard the future all this it is 
to be a Christian, all this and much more. 

The Christian Gospel is indeed bigger than the 

1 Mt 28 19 . The Orthodox Church in Russia, from the con- 
version of Olga and Vladimir in the tenth century, has never 
ceased to be a missionary church- But in the West there 
was nothing after the conversion of Scandinavia in the tenth 
century, unless the conversion of Pomerania through Poknd 
^twelfth), and the crusading wars against the heathen of 
Prussia and Livonia (thirteenth) are to be counted. 


most broad-minded of men, and more modern than 
the newest of new departures. If it were not so, 
it would not be the Truth. So big is it that men, 
in their very insistence upon the sections which their 
fathers had forgotten, have themselves forgotten 
what their fathers had remembered ; and every age 
has been more or less partial and heretical. Only 
a few, saints and seers, have in each generation 
transcended the limits of custom and seen mighty 
visions of the Whole ; they have drunk of the foun- 
tains of God, and through them the mind of Chris- 
tendom has been enlarged, so that, in spite of the 
narrownesses and negations of the necessary re- 
vivals and reactions, there has been a steady gain, 
and we are the inheritors of many things. We 
are inheritors, indeed, of the kingdom of Heaven 
the same estate that our forefathers came into ; but 
the population is much increased (for death is 
only promotion in this kingdom), and the re- 
sources of the estate have been enormously devel- 

Tlie last century brought us back many lost 
treasures; not only did its great realisation of the 
historical principle dissolve many prejudices that 
had flourished upon false history, and give us a 
working hypothesis of the universe in the doctrine 
of evolution (which itself is but history in the 
larger sense) ; but the religious movements also of 
the nineteenth century restored to us in this setting 
of modern thought some of those great forgotten 
commands of Christ to which I have alluded. We 
do not care less about personal righteousness, and 
personal salvation, and personal freedom; but we 


care also about the corporate things, we are jealous 
for the Church Universal, we have a new love for 
the brotherhood of man; all parties and sects are 
far more sacramental than they were and are trying 
to restore also the beauty of common worship ; we 
are in the midst of a great extension of that mis- 
sionary activity which was still so feeble even a 
hundred years ago, and at the same time we are 
all more tolerant and broad-minded we appre- 
ciate better the truth that is outside us, and we are 
content to judge men by their fruits. In all this 
we are closer to the New Testament 

Yet there is one great principle of the Gospel 
which we have still to restore, and it is with this 
I propose to deal. 

A religion that ignores the physical effects of 
the Spirit health, that is to say and the 
spiritual element in healing, is clearly not com- 
mensurate with the Christianity of Christ. It is 
defective, just as a religion that ignores the brother- 
hood of man is defective. The wonder, indeed, 
is, not that religion has so weak a hold upon the 
people, but that it has retained any hold at all, 
seeing that it has been so ill-armed. 

It is beyond controversy that our Lord devoted 
a great deal of his ministry to healing the sick, that 
he sent forth his first disciples to carry out thj* 
same two- fold mission of preaching and healing 
of carrying the new Life to men's souls and to 
their bodies. Our duty is to take him as our pat- 
tern and to be imitators of him. He promised us 
his Spirit and his Presence; and he told us not 
only that we should be able to do what he did, but 


that we should be able to do more "The works 
that -I do shall ye do also, yea, and greater works 
than I do shall ye do." He told us indeed that we 
should be perfect, because we are the sons of a 
perfect Father, 

How then (you may say) can the Church of 
Christ have been so faithless to her Lord's com- 
mands ? But she has not been faithless. As I shall 
show, the tradition of spiritual healing has been 
remarkably constant A wave of materialism did, 
indeed, sweep over Europe, and this with other 
good things was dropped by the educated classes 
in England, where since the reign of Queen Anne 
there has been no official recognition of spiritual 
healing till now. 1 But it was not dropped in 
other countries, and even in England superior 
people have always been able to point the finger 
of scorn at what they considered the pertinacity of 
superstition. Ever since the Reformation we have 
been very much afraid of this charge, forgetting 
the profound warning of Lord Bacon that there is 
a superstition in avoiding superstition. ' But in 
every generation there have been pious souls who 
with the simplicity which is the privilege of com- 
mon people,, and saints, and little children, have 
taken the New Testament at its word and have 
practised spiritual healing, rebuking by their faith 
the unbelief of their age. And when the official 
Church sank into the lethargy of the Georgian 
period, movements began to arise outside her, and 
so have continued till the present day. It is the 
will of God that the truth should not die, and when 


the historic Church forgets, new bodies arise to 
remind her. 

So this was forgotten with us for awhile. It is 
not wonderful, for the truth is very wide. We 
concentrate upon one true thing, and lo! we have 
forgotten others. And this is always hard to re- 
member. We take up an enthusiasm in a one- 
sided way, and we forget that we have to be 
armed at all points and zealous for all true causes. 

" These ye ought to have done, and not to have 
left the other undone." 



THE Christian religion is so broad and so com- 
plete, it is able to embrace such opposite poles of 
the truth and to show that the contradictories of the 
partizan are really complementaries, for this reason 
that it is itself a reconciliation. It has drawn 
opposites together; and has shown that the truth 
lies, not in the one side or the other, not in the 
dull middle-way between them, but in the combina- 
tion of them all. This is the reason why there are 
so many sects and parties in Christendom : men are 
not large enough to appreciate the whole, and they 
bind themselves together to press certain sides of 
the truth which appeal to them. So Christendom 
seems to be sectarian, though its Master's prayer is 
that we may be one. But we are one already in 
the communion of saints, and we shall be visibly 
one some day, for the Church is essentially Cath- 
olic that is to say, " over the whole," a federa- 
tion of all local excellencies. 

The natural man is a fighter and a partizan. 
The spiritual man is a reconciler. Thus is the 
Truth won. Men are generally right when they 
affirm, and wrong when they deny. By seeking 
to understand the positive truth which underlies the 
convictions of other men, we become partakers in 


the great reconciliation ; and we find that as we are 
more bound in unity we are increased in freedom. 
The truth shall make us free. 

"The Word was made flesh." That is the 
central doctrine of the earliest Christian theology. 
The Son of God came into humanity, and was made 
man; the Divine was revealed in a human life, 
lived in a human body; and in Jesus Christ there 
was perfect reconciliation of God and Man. And 
St. John will have no evading of this unity: the 
first heretics he had to meet were the Gnostics, who 
boggled at the material side of the Incarnation, and 
could not endure the thought that God's Son 
should have anything to do with so gross a thing 
as the human body. Against them St. John 
warned his disciples in the strongest words 

" Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit which 
confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of 
God: and every spirit which annulleth Jesus is not of 
God: and this is tie spirit of the antichrist" x 

For those who made that denial just missed the 
point of Christianity they left the material and 
the spiritual unreconciled. They were heretics, 
that is to say, they were " choosers," 2 because the 
Whole was too much for them, 

Christianity is the Catholic religion, that is, the- 
religion of the Whole. It unites the spiritual with 
the material. That is why our Lord, the Prophet - 
of the spiritual, was also the Healer of men's 1 

ijohn 4 2 " s . "Annulleth" is R. V. marginal for "con- 
fesseth not." 

2 Heresy (hairesis) originally meant "choice,** and in the 
New Testament it still has the sense of party-spirit or self- 
willed choosing rather than of heterodoxy. 


bodies, and could say in one breath, " Thy sins be 
forgiven thee," and "Arise and walk." That is 
also why Christendom while it has produced the 
most wonderful army of saints, and the highest 
forms of worship, and an unceasing stream of 
noble literature and inspired poems has also 
been the home of science, and freedom, and material 
progress. The white man has still many faults; 
but he has moved, while other races have stood 
still: even the cleverest nations of the East can 
only advance by learning from him, for with all its 
spirituality their religion has been a thing apart. 
To him religion has been concerned with this world 
as well as the world beyond: in his conception of 
life the Word does not lie in the chill distance, 
but " is made flesh " : his religion is as large as 

Thus the white man, the product of Christianity, 
has made his way upward with many falls and 
failures, of course and is to-day bringing the 
whole world into conformity with himself. Though 
he is himself as yet but half-Christianised, how 
much has been won already in honour, mercy, and 
justice the emancipation of woman, for instance, 
the destruction of slavery, the abolition of tyran- 
nies, and the freedom for all to think and act 
Black as are the social evils which still disgrace us, 
who can doubt that great forces are gathering 
among all good men to sweep even these away? 
Christendom resounds with great ideals which are 
being 1 surely fulfilled as the years go by, and those 
ideals are becoming the ideals also of the whole 


And this because we have in our blood a re- 
ligion in which heaven and earth are met together; 
righteousness and truth have kissed each other, and 
the Messengers who cry " Glory to God in the 
highest/ 3 cry also, "Peace on earth." It is the 
special and peculiar glory of the Christian Faith 
that it neither despises material things, as do some 
religions, nor worships them, as do others, but rec- 
onciles the material with the spiritual by that revela- 
tion wherein God is in man made manifest. 

Theologians call this the sacramental principle, 
and I do not know of any other word that 
expresses the idea, Sacramentalism is, indeed, 
the characteristic which distinguishes Christianity 
sharply from other religions. The Incarnation, as 
has been often said, is itself a sacrament the re- 
vealing of Godhead in visible humanity. Christ 
in his life upon the earth was himself the visible 
embodiment of the Divine; and he worked also 
sacramentally, touching the inward through the 
outward, and renewing men's outward bodies by 
that which is within. And he founded a Church 
itself the visible dwelling-place of the invisible 
Spirit a Church which is entered by a sacrament, 
and of which the life has always centred round that 
holy mystery, which in common language is called 
the Sacrament because it is the focus of Christian 

What then is a sacrament? It is, in the admi- 
rable definition of the Church Catechism, " an out- 
ward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual 
grace," Regarded technically as a Christian ordi- 
nance, it may be confined to those vehicles of grace 


expressly ordained by Christ Regarded univer- 
sally/ sacramentalism is the answer to the riddle of 
the Universe. 

For in this general sense the Universe itself is a 
sacrament, the outward sign of the power and care 
and the beauty of God, 

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, 
And the round ocean and the living air, 
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man; 
A motion and a spirit, that impels 
All thinking things, all objects of all thought, 
' And rolls through all things. 

Thus poets, musicians, and all other artists, have 
always seen it. The "magic," indeed, as we call 
it, of art is precisely its sacramentalism that it 
reveals the eternal and invisible which always lies 
within the outward. And art does this by methods 
which are themselves sacramental, using audible 
or visible things as the vehicles of ideas that baffle 
the common ways of speech: a musician by the 
vibrations which he scrapes from the sinews of a 
sheep can lift us into a -world of emotion and of 
knowledge which lies about the feet of God ; a poet, 
often by the simplest use of everyday words, can 
stir thoughts that lie too deep for tears; and the 
gift of understanding is just that we can see the 
infinite in common things the gross nature is just 
that which is unsacramental, the material being all 
that it can see 

A primrose by a river's brim 
A yellow primrose was to him, 
And it was nothing more. 


It is by such oft-quoted lines as these that one 
can best explain the sacramental idea; and they are 
so often quoted because our age so greatly feels 
their truth. So, too, with Tennyson's famous epi- 
gram, which sums up our conviction that^sacra- 
mentalism is scientific, and that science is sac- 

Flower in the crannied wall, 

! pluck you out of the crannies, 

I hold you here, root and all, in my hand, 

Little flower but if I could understand 

What you are, root and all, and all in all, 

I should know what God and man is. 

Art, then, has always been what Christianity 
is sacramental ; for both are true to life and ap- 
peal to man in his completeness. The artist has 
always felt intuitively what Christianity has re- 
vealed as a principle. Neither true art nor true 
religion has been much troubled about matter 
though they may both sometimes have to war 
against it when it is " in the wrong place " for 
they take man as he is conditioned in this life, and 
they do not find matter an obstacle, but use it as an 
instrument. To them it is a vehicle of the spirit; 
and they reach a higher spirituality through it 
The sculptor is not disgusted with the stolidity of 
a block of marble: he makes it Beauty. The 
Christian is not distressed at the existence of the 
body : he makes it Love. He knows that the Word 
was made flesh; and he knows that the body 
profiteth nothing because it is the spirit that justi- 
fieth. The body would be nothing without the 
spirit; and that extension of the Incarnation where- 


in the Christian receives spiritual grace through the 
eating and drinking of common manufactured 
articles would be nothing if it were not for the real, 
presence of Christ. 

Thus the Christian by the very habits of his re- 
ligious practice is trained to see through the ma- 
terial. He understands that a good man is the 
embodiment of one part of God, and the universe 
the embodiment of another and a lesser part To 
him a flower is a wayside sacrament, and the kiss 
of lovers a holy sign of inward grace; disease is a 
warning, pain a messenger, and death a journey. 
To him nothing is common or unclean, for every- 
thing must be in the essence divine : " Raise the 
stone, and there shalt thou find me; cleave the 
wood, and there am I." * 

And the organ with which he sees this is faith 
an instrument which every act of his sacramental 
life is strengthening. For faith is just the organ 
of man's spirit; it is to the spiritual world what the 
eye is to visibilities and the ear to sounds. It is 
the sixth sense, or rather the first; for it is the 
highest, and psychology now tells us that we have 
more than five besides. 

We need not plunge into the deep waters of 
metaphysics, where those who have not learnt to 
swim are apt to be drowned. Religion is for 
ordinary people, practicable and potent in the 
ordinary experience of life; and it has cohabited in 
comfort with many philosophies. Every religious 
man knows that the supreme reality Is spirit, and 

* Oxyrhynchvs Logia, 5. These recently discovered sayings 
claim to be from the lips of Christ, and not without probability. 


that faith is the highest way of knowing truth. 
Philosophers are not likely to agree as to what 
degree of reality matter possesses ; but the Christian 
knows that whatever value it has is due to the spirit 

to the spirit of which it is an expression and to 

the spirit by which it is discerned. Matter is the 
visible sign, and for this reason is unstable, transi- 
tory, and mortal: it is the spirit that endures. 
" The things that are seen are temporal : the things 
that are not seen are eternal/' Material things are 
not bad or worthless; they are indeed beautiful and 
good : but they are unenduring. The picture must 
perish one day, but the beauty which it expressed 
can never die; the heavens shall themselves be 
rolled up as a scroll, but the word of the Lord en- 
dureth for even 

It is easy to understand this now easier than It 
was even in the prescientific days. For natural 
science, which thirty years ago was thought to be 
occupying the territory of religion, has itself shat- 
tered the atom and placed matter in a new light. 
The idealist philosopher may not care, since he 
never set much store by such phenomena, but it is 
a great deal to the ordinary man that he should 
be told that matter only exists as a form of energy. 
It at least serves to inoculate him against the crude, 
popular materialism which has been a mere parody 
of the work of science For we know now, not 
only that organic matter is the result of something 
immaterial (it was always fairly obvious that the 
lowest one-celled organism Is what it is because it 
is alive, and it was no surprise to learn that it can 
perceive and will though it has no brain) ; but we 


know also that all matter (a stone, for instance) 
is made up of atoms, each of which is but an in- 
visible centre of energy, so that, could it be magni- 
fied to the size of a house, it would appear as a 
spherical space in which a few tiny particles were 
revolving with indescribable rapidity. 1 Thus mass, 
formerly thought indestructible and invariable, is 
now believed to depend solely on the velocity of 
negative electrons. If this be true, then matter, 
regarded purely as matter ,and as " nothing more/ 7 
is itself but the holding together of never-resting 
forces, below the furthest limits of vision and 
almost beyond the limits of imagination forces 
so immense and so minute that any other age 
than ours would have regarded them as incredible. 
From this follows the stupendous conclusion that, 
if electricity 2 were withdrawn from the universe, 
the earth would not melt or crumble up, but would 
disappear, like a ghost. Without dust or vapour 
the planets and the suns would slip into nothingness, 
and our place would be occupied by the invisible, 
imponderable waste of ether. Thus what we used 
to assert as a principle of theology is now asserted 
also as a principle of physics : matter is but the 
symbol of power, the outward sign or sacrament 
of invisible energy. 

It is easier to realise God as the Creator than it 
was when men rested in the analogy of the potter 

1 Sir Oliver Lodge has pointed out that, if the space con- 
tained in a church 160 ft. by 80 ft., and 40 ft. high, represented 
an atom ; the electrons in it would appear but as a few hun- 
dred dots no larger than the full stop of ordinary jmnt 

a At present we know this as electricity; but it would be 
safer, perhaps, to say " energy/' since electricity may turn out 
to be but a special form of the all-pervading energy. 


and his clay. Easier to realise the presence of 
God in creation, when we see that his Hand is 
energy, energy everywhere and in the heart of 
things. Easier to conceive of the superior reality 
of spirit when we know that matter itself, merely as 
matter, is but the outward and visible sign of an 
intense and inconceivably potent activity. Into this 
One Thing we shall probably have to resolve the 
three supposed entities of matter, ether, and 
energy: these three are near to being finally proved 
but forms of the One persistent Power. It is like 
what we know of God in the higher planes of his 
work that in this plane of dead matter he should 
use but one means, and that an Energy. Matter 
even within its own realm is but the apparel of 
.power. It is, again to quote Wordsworth, whose 
prophetic thought is being so fully justified to-day, 
"An active principle," which subsists 

In all things, in all natures, in the stars 
Of azure heaven, the unenduririg clouds, 
In flower and tree, in every pebbly stone 
That paves the brooks; the stationary rocks, 
The moving waters and the invisible air, 
. , . from link to link 
It circulates, the soul of all the worlds. 

And in our realm it is the vehicle of all we know. 
For we are conditioned by a material body and a 
sensible environment, and we can only see through 
the visible by making it sacramental of what is 
within and beyond. 

Man is in fact himself a sacrament, of which the 
body is the outward sign and the soul is the in- 
ward grace ; the countenance is a clear mdesx; of the 


spirit that is within, and the body is built up by the 

Many people think of the soul as if it were a 
little " spark " carried about by the body, and 
stowed away in some obscure recess; but it would 
be more true to say that it is the soul which carries- 
the body about. The body is fashioned and di- 
rected by the same soul as a boat may be made, 
occupied, and sailed by the same man, subject to 
the waves of his environment and the winds that 
come from above him. 

Man, we are learning, is not a body possessing a 
soul, but a soul possessing a body, and the manner 
of it we will discuss in the next chapter. Here 
let it be only remembered that the Christian does 
not think less of his body because it is the organ 
of his soul and the temple of the Holy Ghost, but 
the more highly because it is a holy shrine. This 
conviction of the body's worth and its infinite pos- 
sibilities will surely never wane in- Christendom; 
for every birth is a microcosm of the Incarnation, 
and every baby born a little word of God made 

So, when the Spirit of Christ has been long at 
work, men have become humane, with a great rever- 
ence for the human body, a horror of all violence 
done to it by cruelty, intemperance, or lust, and a 
growing comprehension of its wonders. And there 
has cktng to Christendom a belief that, in spite of 
its obvious decay, this body cannot finally perish. 
For the Christian creed declares the belief that the 
body as well as the spirit is immortal The spirit 
cannot rise again, for it never dies: but, says the 


Church, your body, that mysterious thing which is 
the same today as it was years ago, though every < 
particle of it has been renewed, your body, that- 
strange persistent something which is the expres- 
sion of yourself, will exist in eternity. . For there 
is an essence in the body itself which is vital, central, 
permanent, and having identity. Such a body we 
are told that Christ showed to his disciples in the 
last great forty days. Such a body the spirit will< 
win to itself, as it weaves another kind of body now. 
For there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual 
body* But the glory of the celestial is one, and the 
glory of the terrestrial is another. ', 



IF we leave the realm of Christian belief, and con- 
sider the human body merely as a physical mechan- 
ism, we are confronted with the same profound in- 
terdependence of matter and spirit. For the pur- 
pose of our argument in this chapter it is of little 
importance which comes first, or whether mind and 
body are identical : as Christians we hold that mat- 
ter is the manifestation of spirit, and that they are 
not identical in any sense but this ; and the present 
trend of scientific thought makes us pretty confident 
that this belief will hold the future. But those who 
think otherwise will admit equally with us that, 
while life lasts, mind and body are Inseparably bound 
up together in the human frame. 

For what does anatomy tell us? The human 
body is pervaded with the mental agency of the 
nerves. 'The body is a beautifully-contrived and 
almost infinitely intricate mechanism which has the 
power of taking certain materials from the outside 
world, breaking them up, and conveying such por- 
tions as it needs into its own innermost recesses 
by means of an amazing network of tiny channels, 
so that these necessary materials may be built up 
into its own substance ; a mechanism which also has 
the power of moving certain of its parts, such as 



hands, and legs, and tongue, so as to attain a con- 
siderable mastery over the world. 

For the simplest of these actions the very elabo- 
rate and strange apparatus is necessary, to which we 
give the name of the Nervous System. Upon this 
system the body, in its present stage of evolution, 
depends utterly for its life and its activity * ; not 
only does the cutting of a particular afferent nerve, 
for instance, prevent the action of the muscle to 
which it is attached, but after a short time the muscle 
dies and shrivels up. 2 Now the nervous system ex- 
tends all over the body; there are nerves in every 
organ, however obscure, and there are nerves in 
almost every tissue. 

This enormous ramification of microscopic fibres 
which, when united in bundles we call nerves, is 
ultimately centred in the brain. 8 Some actions of 
the nerves are performed with our knowledge, and 
some without ; but whether they are thus voluntary 
or involuntary, they are alike caused by nervous 

What is this energy ? Though we may use meta- 
phors from electricity for convenience sake, the 

1 See pp. 108-12. 

2 August Fore!, Hygiene der N"erven und de$ Getstes, 1905 1 
Eng, transL, 1907, P- 85. 

3 For the benefit of the general reader, who may not realise 
the extraordinary fineness of this apparatus, and is apt to think 
of nerves only as the white cords which are really bundles of 
fibrils are barety ^fortr of an inch in diameter, and that the 
separate fibres, it may be well to state that the finest nerve 
very largest ganglion cells are scarcely visible to a good eye. 
But here let me say once for all that I have deliberately left 
out as much technical matter as I could. The physiologist 
who may read these pages knows it already: the general 
reader would only be confused if I attempted to repeat it. 


nervous energy, or neurokym, is not electricity * ; 
it is mind in some form or other. 2 Let us con- 
sider this statement. 

Both the voluntary and the involuntary muscles, 
both the organs which can appreciate a poem or 
paint a picture and those which secrete bile or man- 
ufacture the corpuscles of the blood, are worked by 
nervous energy which is alike in kind. It may be 
true that one system is centred in the brain and its 
continuation down the spinal cord, while the other 
has its roots in the sympathetic system; but the 
energy of these two systems must be identical, for 
the two systems are interlaced so that nervous im- 
pulses can be sent from one to the other, \ The gan- 
glia of the sympathetic are themselves little brains 
one may indeed speak of them as colonies of living 
things that inhabit the body and direct the move- 
ments of the blood-vessels and viscera. But none 
of them is independent : the ganglionic neurons are 
now known to send out collateral fibres to the spinal 
cord, and from the brain pass branches of communi- 
cation to the sympathetic. This has been estab- 

1 Forty years ago Huxley said that the forces exerted by 

living beings *' are either identical with those which exist in 
the inorganic world, or they are convertible into them," and 
instanced the nervous energy as the most recondite of all and 
yet as being in some way or other associated with the elec- 
trical processes. Nervous energy does, it is true, produce 
electrical and many other disturbances, but it is none the less 
as distinct from electricity as it is from heat. It is worth 
while to quote a living materialistic writer on this : ** The neu- 
rokym cannot be a simple physical wave, such as electricity, 
light or sound. If it were, its exceedingly fine, B weak waves 
would soon exhaust themselves without causing the tre- 
mendous discharges which they actually call forth in the brain 
. . . A. Forel, Hygiene aer Nerven, 2nd ed., 1905 : Eng, 
t ran si., 1907, p. 86, 
* See also Chapters V and VI. 


lished by the laborious investigations of the last fifty 
years, and as a result it is an accepted fact of anat- 
omy that while the neurons of the cerebro-spinal 
system are directly subordinate to the brain, those 
of the sympathetic are so linked up with the other 
as to be indirectly subordinate to it. 1 In other 
words, the whole nervous system is subject to the 
control of the brain, which is the seat of the human 

The brain itself consists of nerve cells which have 
fibres linking up every cell and every group of cells 
with each other, and also with every organ and 
every part of the body. They have an exquisitely 
fine internal structure, and their minuteness can be 
faintly imagined by their amazing number, which/ 
according to Dr. Ford Robertson, may be computed 
at 3,000,000,000 in an average human brain : If all" 
the telegraph batteries in the world with all their 
wires were thrown together and worked as one 
system, they would form a mechanism not to com- 
pare in numbers or complexity with the cells which 
are packed, together with their food-supply and 
drainage apparatus and the connecting tissue that 
holds them all in place, within the space of a single 
human skull 2 

What are the nerves? Their vast number and 
the minuteness of their fibres may well excite aston- 
ishment; but this is not the real wonder of them. 
What makes them so mysterious, so incomprehen- 
sible, is that they are the link between matter and 

1 See pp. 108, in. 

2 Dr. T. S. Clouston, The Hygiene of Mind, 4th d, 1907, JK 



We do not know how this is. Phrases about 
molecular action, such as Herbert Spencer used, only 
serve to make our ignorance appear learned, as in- 
deed no one knew better than he. 1 We not only 
do not know, we cannot even imagine, how a 
thought can be registered in a speck of protoplasm, 
or how a sensation can travel along a fibre. How 
can matter think? Or how can a syllogism store 
itself in a cell? There is no analogy to help us in 
the understanding of this. We could understand a 
ghost thinking, perhaps, because thought is a spirit- 
ual process. But how can a combination of carbon, 
hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen think, or feel, or 
aspire, or be sorry? We look at some minute fila- 
ment of a neuron under the microscope, and we 
ask, How can the sensation of pain be carried along 
this, and how can pain be felt by the cell to which 
it runs? We look at the grey matter of the brain 
and we ask, How can millions of memories be im- 
pressed upon its millions of cells? And all such 
questions resolve themselves into the one mystery 
that spirit is incarnate in matter, that a brain cell 
is not merely what we can see, but is also something 
else and something infinitely more important. The 
Christian belief about God is certainly of a piece with 
the phenomena of life, for every neuron is itself an 
incarnate word. 

\This part at least of the human anatomy, there- 
fore, the nervous system, is not merely body; it is 
equally spirit^ To revert to the terms of our last 
chapter, it is a sacrament, having a mixed nature. 

* See, for instance, Herbert Spencer, First Principles of Psy- 
chology, 2nd ed., 1870, pp. 63-7. 


:'We may regard it as physiology or we may regard 
it as psychology, for it is both : in the terrible lan- 
guage of the scientists, it belongs to physiological 

And I think we are both clearest to the under- 
standing and truest of the facts when we say that the 
nervous system is the link between the two worlds, 
so different in their nature, of spirit and matter. 
There are various degrees in the psychical world, 
it is true, various stages in the mind, and these have 
their centres clearly defined in the body. ; It is now 
generally agreed that consciousness is practically 
limited to the outermost layer of the tipper part of 
the brain the cortex which is thus the organ of 
voluntary actions and conscious sensations) while be- 
low this are the mid-brain, and the medulla extend- 
ing down the spinal cord to be linked up with the 
sympathetic system.) A nervous stimulus may pro- 
duce an action that is purely " reflex," and does not 
pass through the brain at all, as when by tapping be- 
low the knee-cap you make a mam kick out his 
leg. But the nerve-force is of the same nature, and 
all belongs to the realm of (t mind," that which we 
commonly call the mind being merely nerve-force 
in its highest form, conscious, and therefore con- 
nected with the cortex, the crown of the brain* 

We need not pursue this farther for the present. 
It is enough to say that the life of the body is due 
to the fact that there exists in every part of it nerve 
fibres which connect it with another world, and in- 
fuse into it a psychic force which physiology shows 
to be of the same nature as that of the intelligent 
brain, since it uses the same organs, acts in the same 


way, and is interchangeable with that of the brain. 
The whole nervous system of the body is in fact 
joined up with the brain cortex, by innumerable 
fibres ; and thus is subordinate to it the Cerebro- 
spinal system directly, and the sympathetic system 
indirectly, subordinate to the seat of conscious will 
and intelligence/ The brain is thus connected with 
every organ of the body, because it is itself the 
principal organ of the mind, and mind is the director 
not only of the conscious acts of the body, but 
of the unconscious acts also. Being in a material 
environment, mind uses this nervous mechanism, 
just as the British Government uses the telegraph, 
and is connected by these channels of communication 
with every part of the Empire. The British Em- 
pire is not for this reason created by the telegraph, 
but is itself the creator, owner, and user of it. So 
is it, we think, with mind. 



THUS we reach a conclusion of profound importance 
without passing into the regions of controversy, 
without leaving that world of security where things 
can be weighed and measured and seen under the 
microscope, without even troubling to deny the as- 
sumptions of the materialist. We might even al- 
low him to assume for the sake of argument that 
matter is the one and only substance, and that 
thought is a secretion of the brain, since the fact 
remains that mind has a close and intimate control 
over every part of the body. 

And if it be answered that this important con- 
clusion is so generally accepted as to have become a 
truism, the answer is, on the one hand that the 
general public does, not know it, and on the other 
that the profession which is most immediately con- 
cerned with the physical well-being of man has 
hitherto largely ignored it. It is new knowledge 
resulting largely on the tracing of the nerves made 
possible by the method of Golgi and like most 
new knowledge it has not yet been assimilated. Dr. 
Schofield is surely well within the mark when he 

" The most recent physiologies agree in dealing* solely 
with apparatus, structure, mechanism, and function on a 



mere descriptive level. . . . Systems of medicine, 
however large and modern, display the same character 
as the physiologies. A rather old book, Pereira's " Ma- 
teria Medica," devotes three pages out of 2,360 to " psy- 
chic therapeutics." Dr. Shoemaker, of Philadelphia, in 
his " System of Medicine," spares one page out of about 
1,200 ; but most of the others, including far larger works, 
devote none. Every possible, and even impossible, aid 
to therapeutics is gravely discussed at length . . . 
while not one line is devoted to the value of the mental 
factor in general therapeutics." 1 

And the doctors were only acting as men of their 
generation; they were true to the atmosphere in 
which we were all educated. Whatever we may 
have fancied, or guessed, or hoped, we were all 
brought up to think of man's body as apart from the 
control of his soul. Materialism was a scientific 
certainty : spiritualism (to use the word in its proper 
sense) was a metaphysical perhaps. Which of us, 
to take an extreme example, was not brought up in 
the atmosphere that made him regard the stigmata 
of St. Francis as an instance of the picturesque men- 
dacity of the Middle Ages? Even a Frenchman, 
living in a country where such things were part of 
the popular religion, might well quail before the 
dilemma ou supercherie ou miracle, I well re- 
member myself reading twenty years ago with aston- 
ished incredulity the statement in Mrs. Oliphant's 
life of St. Francis that his stigmatisation was one 
of the best attested things in history. So much the 
worse for history, one thought. Well! but if the 
conscious mind is in connection with the vaso-motor 
system, there is nothing improbable in the fact that 
a man by thinking intensely about the wounds of 

* The Force of Mind, 1902, pp, 


Christ should come to have a physical representation 
of those wounds upon his body. 

And the fact is now become a commonplace of 
Nancy and La Salpetriere. It is no longer a mat- 
ter of historical evidence, but a demonstrated fact 
of scientific investigation. For the phenomenon of 
stigmatisation has not ceased, and modern cases have 
been recorded and carefully observed. Some of 
these have been examined under glazed shields in the 
hospitals ; others have been produced by suggestion. 
Dr. Biggs, of Lima, for instance, in 1885, caused a 
cross to appear on a previously hypnotised subject 
every Friday for four months. 1 Delboeuf, after 
seeing a burn on the skin produced purely by sug- 
gestion, experimented himself and found that he 
could reverse the process and cauterise the skin 
without producing a burn, because he had given the 
suggestion of painlessness thereby showing that 
besides the idea of pain producing inflammation, the 
abolition of the idea can entail the absence of in- 
flammation. 2 

Here then we have many incredible things proved 
scientific, many "wild" notions justified. If 
thought can not only inhibit pain, but can also pre- 
vent fire from burning, can forbid a blister and 
refuse its imprimatur to a scar, we are confronted 
with a very practical matter indeed which will have 

* Proceedings of Society for Psychical Research, VoL III, 
p. 100. For the first three months Dr t Biggs was 2,000 miles 
away from the patient. 

2 For the details see William James, Psychology* 1901, II, p. 
612. Dr. Delbceuf cauterised two symmetrical places, and on 
that as to which he had made no counter-sttggesticm all the 
ordinary symptoms of a burn appeared bom suppurating 
blister and subsequent scar. 


far-reaching results. And we have the explanation 
of many ancient stories which formerly excited our 
scorn. Commenting on these experiments, Pro- 
fessor James says 

" As so often happens, a fact is denied until a welcome 
interpretation comes with it. Then it is admitted readily 
enough; and evidence judged quite insufficient to back a 
claim, so long as the church had an interest in making 
it, proves to be quite sufficient for modern scientific 
enlightenment, the moment it appears that a reputed saint 
can thereby be classed as " a case of hysteroepilepsy." x 

The tendency, here gently pointed out, to seek the 
lowest explanation for everything, 2 is one from 
which no doubt we shall emerge during the present 
century. St. Francis, himself one of the greatest 
recorded examples of the human race, can hardly be 
satisfactorily explained on the basis of hysteria. 
But let us put that on one side, and, using a non- 
committal phrase, let us attribute the remarkable 
physical manifestation of the stigmata to intensity 
of thought. Charcot and his followers at the Sal* 
petriere got in the way of attributing everything to 
hysteria, and even thought that only hysterical pa- 
tients could be hypnotised an assumption which 
the school of Nancy has completely destroyed. We 
will not discuss the quality of St. Francis' mind 
which had a greatness that can be judged by its ef- 

* William James, Psychology, 1901, II, pp. 612-13. 

2 As I write, a typical example of this tendency comes under 
my notice in an article on " La Pathologic nerveuse chez les 
anciens Hibreux/' (Revue de FHypnotisme, Avril, 1908), in 
which the writer says of the Old Testament Prophets that 
" Comme beaucoup de dg<neres, les prophetes juifs sont des 
mdividus tristes et walveiltants." They were also, we are- 
told, "foux," "deciles," and the victims of "orgueil and 


f e c ts it will suffice for us to note that its intensity 
produced these physical results. 

Let us note this well A common act of thought . 
produces the familiar physical result of blushing; 
but a special, intense act may produce results as 
strange and abnormal as stigmatisation, causing a 
blister, a bruise, or a wound to appear in the skin. 
We regard it as strange because it is uncommon; 
but it is only uncommon because such concentration 
of thought is uncommon. Increase the force of the 
mental agent and you will have increased physical 
results. Does not the key of the whole matter lie 

Now it is true that such concentration of thought 
may be due to mental disease, such as hysteria; but 
this does not in the least prove that it is a morbid 
condition courage similarly, or eloquence, may be 
produced by drunkenness or other morbid conditions. 
Thought-concentration may be produced by the re- 
ceptiveness of faith, which can put aside, all other 
thoughts but one: something similar may be pro- 
duced by the complete subconscious faith that can 
be evoked in a normal and healthy subject by hyp- 
notic suggestion of which we shall have more to 
say. 1 Mental intensity, then, may be produced in a 
variety of ways; like genius, it may be normal or 
abnormal ; like courage, it may be due to the highest 
moral qualities or to the mere inhibition by an tin- 
healthy condition of mind, or by mere stolidity of 
temperament, or by the excitement of battle. 
However produced, it remains a remarkable force 

i See pp. 96, 133. 


that is capable of exerting remarkable physical re- 

It is not really the uncommon results that are 
wonderful but the common ones. If we desire to 
marvel at anything in the mystery of life, let us 
marvel, not at the stigmata of St. Francis, but at 
the blush of a maiden. For it is the same process 
in both, the same action of thought upon the blood- 
vessels, only in the " miraculous " case the action 
is pushed a little further. When a person blushes, 
the small arteries are relaxed and dilate, the 
amount of blood in them is increased, and this hot, 
red fluid flows in such quantities through the capil- 
laries of the skin that the skin itself becomes hot 
and red. By a reverse process, fear may cause the 
skin to become pale and cold. It is strange that the 
thought, " He says I am a pretty girl/* should cause 
the small arteries to behave in this way; but the 
physiological explanation is simple enough these 
arteries are supplied with muscles which regulate 
them, and all muscles are worked by nerves. ^The 
thought in the higher conscious centres has some- 
how seen fit to hitch itself on to the arterial muscles, 
just as when we telephone to a friend in the city the 
exchange connects us on to his office. X 

Now, supposing it to be possible to cure a man, 
say of indigestion, by thought, the process would 
be the same. The thought would be passed on 
through the sympathetic to those organs which are 
manufacturing the wrong digestive chemicals. 
Whether such cure be possible or not, there is 
nothing the least impossible about the process, 
which is common enough. If we were convinced 


that such a cure had happened, we should say at 
once, " Of course, I see how it is done." 

Now, a maiden's blush is far more than a pretty 
analogy. For, as a matter of fact, we are all con- 
stantly and continually blushing, and the regulation 
of the vaso-motor system by the action of the small 
arteries is the prime means of both mental and 
physical health and activity. Every time we move 
a muscle, that muscle blushes, unseen and unsus- 
pected by us ; whenever we think, the brain blushes. 
When we dine, the stomach blushes as well it 
may, in some of us. All the organs of the body 
are fed with the blood, and the amount of it in- 
creases at those parts of the body that are being- 
used. Every part, indeed, of the body (with the 
exception of such tissues as the nails, hair, teeth, and 
the horny part of the skin) is bathed in blood, and 
the supply of the blood is regulated in constantly 
varying proportions by the contraction or dilatation 
of the small arteries. These arteries are worked 
by the vaso-motor nerves; and thus the blood is 
passed on according to the needs of the body to the 
miles upon miles of minute capillaries by which 
the tissues are fed with blood. It is like the fertilis- 
ing of the soil by a marvellously intricate system of 
irrigation-canals, supplied from a great central 
pump, and regulated by the intelligent raising and 
lowering of sluices. Thus, to use Huxley's words, 
" everywhere all over the body, the nervous system 
by its vaso-motor nerves is continually supervising 
and regulating the supply of blood, sending now 
more, now less blood, to this or that part." These 
nerves, like the others, are ultimately centred in the 


sympathetic system, and through this are linked tip 
with the higher part of the brain where conscious- 
ness dwells. 

The health of the body is in fact maintained by 
the proper manufacture of food in the digestive 
organs, by its absorption into the blood, and by the 
appropriate regulation of the blood through the 
vaso-motor system. Conscious blushing shows that 
the vaso-motor system can be affected by thought, 
and stigmatisation shows that it can be still further 
affected by concentrated thought. Let us leave 
the matter there for awhile. The blood has sup- 
plied us with a useful illustration, and a very im- 
portant one. We must now return to the realms of 



The Discovery and Nature of the Undermind: The 
Psychology of the New Testament 

WHEN we said that there are nerves almost every- 
where in the body, and therefore nervous force al- 
most everywhere, and that mind is the highest form 
of nervous force, and that therefore there is mind 
in some sort or form everywhere, it was clear that 
we were giving to the word "Mind" a wider 
sense than it popularly bears; for in ordinary use 
mind implies consciousness, and we are clearly not 
conscious of what the greater part of our nervous 
system is doing. ' 

Thus physiology itself suggests that the Mind or 
" self " is not the simple thing which was imagined 
by the older psychologists. It was indeed from the 
medical world that this suggestion first came. Al- 
ready in the middle of the last century some doctors 
were coming to see that the anatomy and action of 
the nerves must have some bearing on psychology, 
and that a theory of hidden mental action was neces- 
sary for the explanation of physiology : in the sixties 
we find Dr. Laycock and Dr. Carpenter disputing as 
to which of them had invented the idea of " uncon* 
scious cerebration." 1 Meanwhile from another 

* T. Laycock, Mind and Brain, 1869, II, pp. 172-5. 



quarter the discoveries in hypnotism by great pio- 
neers like Dr. Braid, in and about 1840, had shown 
that hitherto unsuspected powers of the mind re- 
quired explanation. In 1886 psychology responded 
to the demand by the momentous discovery of the 
subconscious self. 

Like other great facts of nature this is simple in 
its broad aspect. Man's mind is something far larger 
than that which he is conscious of; his consciousness 
is but a speck of light illuminating one portion of his 
whole self like a lamp in the midst of a dark for- 
est that is full of trees and quiet moving creatures. 

Or, to put the matter in a still simpler metaphor, 
the mind is like an iceberg of which the greater part 
is hidden under the sea : so is the greater part of us 
submerged in unconsciousness. The part which we 
know in ordinary life is but a fraction of our human 
personality, and that which is continued below 
the level of our normal consciousness is called the 
subconscious self, or the unconscious mind, or the 
subliminal sell 

Thus we may divide the mind into conscious and 
subconscious, or supraliminal (that which is above 
the threshold of consciousness) and subliminal (that 
which is below it). I shall venture to make but 
slight use of these somewhat cumbrous scientific 
terms, and to coin instead the word undermind for 
the subconscious self, which may make it easier for 
these matters to be discussed in self-respecting prose, 
and may even make it possible for the poets of the 
future to allude to that important part of our being. 
For, really, if we do not simplify our terminology, 
poetry will be forced to confine itself for ever to the 


subjects of pre-scientific knowledge. Therefore let 
us in common speech have a manageable word, so 
that it might be possible for a modern writer to begin 
a sonnet with such a line shall we say ^? as, 
" My undermind is heavy with sad thoughts." 

Once revealed, the fact of our subconscious ex- 
istence is of fundamental importance. To know 
that we have an undermind is like knowing that we 
have a heart : thenceforward, in every day of our 
lives we are reminded of its intimate reality because 
it is constantly accounting for hitherto unrelated 
facts, and making our existence more Abundant in 
opportunities of development and of guidance. We 
have an added sense of greatness, a knowledge of 
hidden power which is already bearing fruit. The 
generation that is brought up in the knowledge of 
its subconscious existence will surely be wiser and 
mightier, purer and more sane, than our own. 

In this broad aspect, indeed, the subject is simple 
enough. But when we try to define the powers of 
the undermind, or to lay down its possibilities and 
limitations, we find ourselves in a maze of conjec- 
ture, and we are confronted moreover with experi- 
mental facts, or supposed facts, so startling that they 
are strenuously and even scornfully disputed. The 
subtlest powers, the most amazing accomplishments 
are claimed for this part of our being, and that by 
men who have devoted many years of severe scien- 
tific experiment to the subject. As a natural conse- 
quence, while men of the older school are apt to 
ignore the results of psychic research altogether, un- 
trained minds are constantly tempted to draw upon 


the subliminal for everything they wish to assert, 
and to heap upon its broad unconscious back an ill- 
arranged extensive burden of magic, miracle, and 

Fortunately, for our own purpose, it is not neces- 
sary to make these extensive demands upon it. 
Many remarkable psychic phenomena may be proved 
beyond dispute, and indeed a good deal that would' 
have stirred the eyebrows of our fathers has been 
already established; but for our more humble pur- 
pose of illustrating the influence of soul on body, 
the simplest and most uncontrovertible acts will 

In the first place, it is certain that the undermind 
is not really an unconscious mind at .all it is sub- 
conscious, but not unconscious ; it is not a mere ani- 
mal forte controlling animal functions it may be 
partly that, it must contain that in some way ; but it 
contains also all important elements of the reasoning 
mind ; it contains, for instance, such conscious facts 
as memories which we can dive for, hook up, and 
bring to the centre of our conscious activity. Thus,* 
it ife that the undermind is not only the repository of; 
physical control, not only the sphere of strange do- 
ings in the hypnotic subject, but is also the sphere of 
quite different forces of genius, for instance, so 
that a man of genius (and to a lesser extent, every 
man) will sometimes produce things from the hidden 
regions of his mind, of which he was till then un- 
aware; this subliminal uprush, as Myers calls it, 
shows that there are in the undermind thoughts, 
memories, feelings, creative powers, which must be 


classed as conscious facts of some sort, outside the 
margin of consciousness though they are. 1 

Secondly, we are here concerned to observe that 
this undermind is in some way connected with the 
functioning of the physical organism ; it is the inner 
life of the body. And, if anyone should object that 
there must then be more than one mind in the sub- 
liminal region, we would reply that we have at any 
rate agreed to include whatever minds there be in 
the general designation of undermind or subcon- 
scious self; there may be different layers, as it were 
there must be higher and lower functions ; 2 and 
in some abnormal cases it is certainly possible to 
strip off more than one state of consciousness, so 
that two, or even more, " alternating personalities " 
can appear in one person. 3 Yet there is even in such 
cases a general unity of mind-stuff. And indeed in 
all of us the centre of consciousness shifts and fluctu- 
ates, yet the mind is one. Overmind and undermind 
are one, whatever functions may be done in either; 
high works and lowly, good thoughts and evil, come 
from the mind, and the mind is the same, even 
when it suffers disease in one form as hysteria or in 
another as insanity. 

1 See on this subject the chapter on Genius in Myer*s 
Human Personality. See also on another side the remark- 
able instances of subconscious memory in the Automatic 
Writings of Mrs. Verrall and Mrs. Holland in the Proceed- 
ings of the Society for Psychical Research, Parts LIII and 
LV (Vols. 20, 21), 1906, 1908. 

* See Chapter VI. 

* As in Professor Pierre Janet's famous case of Iconic, and 
many others, Revue Philosophique, Mars, 1888; P, Janet, 
L'Automatisme Psychologique, 1889, p, no; R W. II Myers, 
Human Personality, 1904, 1, App. to Chap. II, See pp. 


Thus we are on secure ground i we class all the 
activities of the self or spirit of man as Mind, and 
divide it into two regions Overmind being that 
which is conscious, and Undermind being that which 
is below (or outside, since all terms of space are 
arbitrary in this realm) the primary consciousness. 

All of us are accustomed to pass from one mind- 
realm to the other, because all of us go to sleep. In 
this familiar condition, mind is still active, though 
the overmind is laid aside. A man when he is 
awake is concerned mainly with the centres of su- 
praliminal thought, with his conscious mind, and he 
exercises but little control over the subliminal part 
of him, which indeed knows its work and can do it 
by a sort of routine without the need of conscious 
direction. 'But in sleep the undermind assumes con- 
trol, and works undistracted by supraliminal activi- 
ties or emotions ; and it has strong recuperative pow- 
ers, so that the body is renewed in sleep, and in sleep 
many ills of the body are healed. " If he can but 
sleep ! " we often say, as a sick friend tosses on his 
bed ; and after a long and strong sleep he may awake 

Thus the undermind in sleep has a very powerful 
and intimate concern with the functioning of the 
body. But it is not a separate being confined to the 
lower nerve centres ; it can assume command of the 
voluntary nerves as well and " night can outdo the 
most complex achievements of day," for in the som- 
nambulistic state the voluntary muscles can be moved 
with both a delicacy and a strength that are beyond 
a man's ordinary possibilities, and he can walk se- 
curely along perilous ridges. It can also, as a nor- 


mal occurrence, keep a record of time, and tell the 
overmind what's o'clock, so that many people can 
arrange with their undermind overnight as to the 
precise hour when they desire to wake up in the 
morning. 1 Dreams also show that in some strange 
way the undermind can, during sleep, be busy with 
the higher centres of thought, and not necessarily in 
a fumbling and disjointed manner, since great intel- 
lectual achievement is possible during sleep : Robert 
Louis Stevenson, for instance, tells us that the main 
ideas for some of his greatest works were formed in 
dreams which he had deliberately prepared for by 
self-suggestion before sleep, 2 

In the undermind, then, we have our first rough 
explanation of the physical structure of man. Every 
part of the body is pervaded by organs of mental 
communication called nerves ; these nerves are con- 
nected with a central organ of intelligence. Yet the 
greater part of them convey orders of which we are 
not aware. Psychology has shown that there is in- 
deed mind below the normal level of consciousness, 
which can be explored, and some of its properties 
demonstrated, by hypnotic and other experiments. 
Thus psychology begins to supply the all-important 

* In hypnosis extraordinary results have been obtained by 
Delbceuf (Proceedings of Society for Psychical Research, 
VIII, pp. 414-421), and later by Dn Milne Bramwcll. The 
latter, for instance, suggested to a patient under hypnosis on 
Wed., Jan. 8th, 1896, that she should make a mark on a piece 
of paper after the expiration of 4,417 minutes, and of 11,470 
minutes, and of 1 0,070 ^ minutes. This she^ did, without con- 
sciously knowing anything about it, at precisely the right time 
on Jan. nth, Jan. i6th, and Jan. isth, the minutes being calcu- 
lated subconsciously without any error. IbuL XII (i8<X5), 
pp. 176-203. 

2 R. L. Stevenson, Across the Plains, chapter on Dreams, 
1892, pp. 247-252. 


knowledge which physiology has ignored, or has 
designated as " a something " * a something which 
anatomy does not reveal, but which exists behind all 
the physiological phenomena, and is more real and 
more important than they. 

One reads in the ordinary text-books of physi- 
ology about the various organs of the body and the 
remarkably delicate work they accomplish ; but as to 
the power that sets all this machinery in motion no 
information is vouchsafed, and no curiosity is 
evinced. It used to be taken for granted, or as- 
cribed to a female goddess called " Nature/' This 
polite ascription may have been a justifiable form o 
words in the days when science really did not know ; 
but now when the spiritual nature of man has been 
discovered, or rediscovered, a system which treats of 
the body and ignores the intelligence to which the 
body owes its existence is in danger of becoming like 
a theory of literature that should ignore the author 
and deal only with the printing press. 

The Psychology of the New Testament 

Before we proceed to a slight analysis of the un- 
dermind, it is worth while to make a digression and 
to ask ourselves how far the psychology of the New 
Testament writers applies to the knowledge which 
we have acquired in recent years. There is a tend- 
ency at the present day to read modern scientific 
ideas into the New Testament to assume, for in- 

* The " heart contains within itself a something which causes 
its different parts to contract in a definite succession and at 
regular intervals," T. Huxley, Lessons in Elementary Physi- 
ology, 1886, p. 41, 


stance, that St. Paul, when he wrote the beautiful 
benediction, " May your spirit and soul and body 
be preserved entire/' 1 was speaking of the three 
nerve-centre levels which will be discussed in the 
next chapter. On the other hand most writers pass 
over altogether that interesting and suggestive con- 
ception of the nature of man which St. Paul espe- 
cially developed. He had not indeed at his disposal 
the results of modern anatomical and psychological 
research if he had possessed that knowledge, what 
splendid use he would have made of it ! But he had, 
as a result of his spiritual insight and his fresh 
knowledge of the human heart, an intensely strong 
conception of the real nature of man a conception 
which has been generally ignored by later theolo- 
gians, and which he, with other New Testament 
writers, expressed by a- distinctive use of the words 
" spirit " (pneuma) and " soul " (psychfy. 

It may be that once or twice in the New Testa- 
ment these words are employed as synonyms in our 
-modern fashion. 2 None the less when the soul is 
contrasted with the spirit, or when the word is used 
as an adjective, it means that part of man's mind 
which he has in common with the animals, while 
the spirit means that part which he has in common 
with God which is indeed from the Holy Spirit of 
God. Thus man consists of body, soul, and spirit 
the material body, the animal part of the mind, and 

i 1 Thes. 5 2S . 

2 The use of the two words may be a matter of poetic dic- 
tion in the Magnificat, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, 
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" (Lk, I 4 *" 7 J ; 
and St. Paul seems to use the word " soul " mainly to avoid 
tautology in Phil. I aT . 


the mind which is the seat of Wisdom. And here 
I use the word Wisdom in the noble breadth of its 
biblical connotation, as including reason, and virtue, 
and godliness. 

The New Testament writers do not then divide the 
non-material part of man into what is " mental " and 
what is " spiritual," since they incline wisdom in the 
spirit. 1 Nor have we here to deal with the con- 
scious and subconscious parts of the mind, parts 
which after all are constantly interchanging, as when 
a memory or a poem rises into consciousness* The 
New Testament writers are looking at the nature of 
man from another point of view, and that the high- 
est and completest, as well as the most simple. 
And nothing, surely/ can be more illuminating or 
more true than this conception of man as consisting 
of body, soul, and spirit. 

By virtue of his spirit he is man, made thus truly 
in the image of God. By virtue of his soul he is an 
animal, and shares the life which is manifested in 
such variety of beauty and strength by the brute 
creation. It is the soul that we are mainly thinking 
of in this book when we discuss the undermind, be- 
cause it is the soul that affects the functioning of the 
body; but much of the spirit also is subconscious, 
since only a part of it is illuminated by conscious- 
ness at one time. A sensual man may thrust most 
of his spirit into the subconscious realm : a spiritual 
man will live in the spirit, be conscious of the spirit, 
sometimes, indeed, to the extent of letting the animal 
part of him lose its proper share in the balance of 

i See p, 15*2. 


There is, then, such a thing as the psyche or 
" soul," contrasted with the " spirit." The line can- 
not perhaps be drawn precisely between man and the 
rest of the animal world, because in a few higher 
animals there is some " spirit " there is, for in- 
- stance, some discrimination, some virtue in a dog. 
Though we may not consider that " brain secretes 
dog's soul," as Browning ironically suggested in 
" Tray," yet a dog is much less than a dog if his 
brain-cortex is removed : a rabbit, on the other hand, 
lives in a way that does " not greatly transcend au- 
tomatism/' and consequently his cortical centres may 
be removed without creating much obvious distur- 
bance. 1 Thus, a rabbit or a pigeon has developed 
little more than a "soul," and can do pretty well 
when entirely deprived of the cerebral machinery of 
the spirit. 

It is a pity that the loose modern use of the word 
" soul," as if it meant the same as " spirit/' has ob- 
scured popular theology and has practically sacri- 
ficed that fine and necessary word. True, we retain 
a trace of the old distinction in our use of ** psychic " 
as a lower thing than " spiritual/' but the Apostles 
did not mean " psychic " in our specialized sense by 
ifaxiKo?, and we must translate it ** scmlish " to 
retain the original meaning a rabbit is " soulish," 
but we should hardly call it psychic. 

Because of this confusion men have had a crude 
and material conception of what is meant by the 
resurrection of the body, and we still talk about the 
immortality of the soul losing the distinction be- 
tween the survival of the soul and the survival of 
*D. Ferrier, The Functions of the Brain, 1886, p. 


the spirit : it may be, for instance, that the alleged 
apparitions and other psychic phenomena after death 
are really manifestations of the soul of some 
lower and unessential part of the personality, while 
the spirit has returned to God who gave it. St. 
Paul, with a clear distinction of the terms, was able 
to discuss the problem of immortality with piercing 
simpleness. The first Adam, he said, was a living 
soul, the last a life-giving spirit; 1 "the first man 
is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of 
heaven." 2 So he looks forward to a resurrection : 
the " soulish " body came first, and afterwards that 
which is spiritual ; and " if there is a soul-body, thre 
is also a spirit-body," 3 thus at death the body is 
" sown a soul-body/' to be " raised a spirit-body." ' 

People think they are uttering a scriptural senti- 
ment when they welcome death as the liberation of 
the soul from the body, but St. Paul looked forward 
to a transformation of the body from the soulish to 
the spiritual condition to a body, we might say, 
no longer under the control of an undermind nor 
subject to material conditions he looked for " our 
adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." 4 
And this is what the accounts of our Lord's Resur- 
rection tell us of: we are beginning to understand 
them better now, because we find in them a con- 
sistent witness to laws which our growing knowl- 
edge is coming to require in those accounts there 

*x Cor, 15 (R. V.). 

/WA v. 47 (R. V.), 

*IUd, v. 44, In our Bibles crw/ict $VXIK&V i$ translated 
"natural body/' though in other places ^V%MC& is rendered 
* sensual/' 


is still a body, still, that is to say, a vehicle and mani- 
festation of the personality, but it has .been trans- 
muted by the fulness of spiritual control; the soul- 
body has become a spirit-body. The material work 
of the undermind is no longer required, because 
the overmind has clothed itself in its appropriate 
manifestation, and is independent of the physical 

In this life, also, according to the New Testament 
view, a man may be in his measure either " soulish " 
or spiritual : of those who lived on the higher level 
it was said that " the Spirit himself beareth witness 
with our spirit that we are children of God," l 
while those whose lives centre round the animal pas- 
sions and instincts are " earthly, soulish, devilish," 2 
or are "soulish, not having the spirit/* 3 Some 
men are indeed like rabbits very soulish. The as- 
cent of man is the growth of his spirit, and the dif- 
ference between the rabbity type of man, and he 
whose life is busy in the higher regions is truly ex- 
pressed in the saying that " the soulish man receiv- 
eth not the things of the Spirit of God . . . but 
he that is spiritual judgeth all things/' 4 

This conception of a hierarchy in the mind leads 
us on to the subject of our next chapter, 

iRom. 8 lfl . 

ajas. 3 15 . 

3 Jude 1& . Here, as in Jas. 3 15 , fux*^* is translated " sen- 
sual," in the A, V. and R, V,, with " or natural, or animal " in 
JR. V. margin. 

*i Cor. 



The Three Levels: Intelligence in the Lower Cen- 
tres: Co-operation of the Overmind with the 
Lowest Level: Co-operation of all 
Three Levels. 

WE have seen that anatomy illustrates the psycho- 
logical fact that the whole mind, both conscious and 
subconscious, is of one stuff, since it has the power 
of passing along the neurons, and is therefore nerv- 
ous energy. Anatomy further enables us to say 
that mind, albeit of one stuff, does act on different 
levels, and that there are lower nervous centres (in 
the region of the undermind) which control the com- 
mon functions of the body. 

We may obtain a clearer notion of this by adopt- 
ing Dr. Hughlings Jackson's division of the nervous 
system into three levels the higher-level nerve- 
centres, the middle, and the lower. Physiology re- 
veals such a threefold division in the human brain 
itself, namely the cortex or upper brain, the mid- 
brain or basal ganglia, and the lower brain or me- 
dulla. We may show this roughly in a diagram, 

Brains-cortex : . . . ) Overmind, or 

Hiffber-level Voluntary action: V Supraliminal 

Nerve-centres: " Spirit )f ) Self: 

Mid-train: 1 ~] Undermind, 

Middle*cejntr8 :Hamt, etc. : I /< Sou j . L or Subliminal 

Medulla, etc. : , r . Self: 

Lower-centre*; " Via naturae "; J J M 



We must, however, not forget that this is a 
rough division, of which we can merely say that it 
does correspond with certain psychological and 
physiological facts. There is no hard and fast line 
between the three levels thoughts, feelings, and 
memories are constantly shifting backwards and 
forwards between the overmind and the undermind, 
for instance; and there is (as in blushing or in any 
voluntary action of the muscles) constant communi- 
cation between the highest level and the lowest. 
Furthermore, each of these levels may be capable of 
further subdivision; in the highest level, for in- 
stance, voluntary action may be fine or base. We 
could not divide the noble workings of the human 
spirit into such concrete categories, since we should 
be dealing with a different plane : were we indeed 
able to give everything scientific classification we 
should probably have to put a divine level a re- 
gion, shall we say? of the Holy Ghost containing 
" every good gift, and every perfect gift " of reli- 
gion, morality, science, and art, right above the top 
level of our diagram. None the less for practical 
purposes we can take the threefold division of the 
brain, and speak confidently of certain activities 
working mainly in certain centres, and together 
forming the mind. 

Intelligence in the Lower Centres 

The control of our bodily functions is mental, 
though it is subconscious. We have now to ask two 
questions : Is the work of this lowest level in the 
undermind merely mechanical, or does it sho g w signs 


of intelligent adaptation? And further, is the action 
of the lowest level correlated in actual experience 
with the middle level and with the conscious mind? 
The functions of the body are controlled, we have 
said, by the lower centres ; they belong to the bottom 
region of the undermind. It is nervous energy in 
the lower centres that produces the act of respiration, 
the beating of the heart, the regulation of the vaso- 
motor system, the processes of secretion, excretion, 
and the rest. 1 This action is mental because it is 
done by nerve-force, assisted by the independent ac- 
tion of living cells, of which we shall speak in the 
next chapter. 2 But we do not by this mean that 
these processes are done by what we ordinarily call 
conscious intelligence ; they are largely " automatic/* 
that is to say, there is imprinted in each centre at or 
before birth a habit or an instinct which is the 
result of the long exercise of generation after gener- 
ation. We may express this in the words of a 
French writer, who says of respiration : 

"Dans les lobes, dans les neurones des circonvolutions 
se trouvent en quelque sorte imprimes par suite d'une 
longue retentivite et la notion du mecanisme respiratoire 
et le souvenir du besoin de Thematose." 3 

Down here, then, at the bottom of the tindermind, 
there is enough "intelligence" and enough "con- 

1 For the sake of clearness I speak generally of lower cen- 
tres, avoiding detail about the ganglia of the sympathetic and 
so forth. 

2 Even when an organ is mechanically stimulated by the 
passing of a chemical substance from another organ, the 
source is still mental, for the chemical substance is itself 
secreted by nervous action in the originating organ. 

Prof, A, Charrin, Le* Defenses Naturelles de FQrgan- 


sciousness " to do the work required just so much 
and no more; and to this subconscious mentality we 
ordinarily refuse the word consciousness, though 
indeed there is consciousness of a sort in every living 
organism. What sort of lower consciousness these 
centres possess may be imagined by considering the 
lower animals, whose life is entirely subconscious. 
Perhaps, for instance, the ganglia of the human 
heart have a slightly higher consciousness than a 
jellyfish, since they certainly have a higher nervous 

But the lower centres do not act altogether me- 
chanically ; they regulate their organs and act appro- 
priately to their conditions. The digestive centres, 
for instance, have to discriminate between the heter- 
ogeneous food supplies that we give them to deal 
with; the vaso-motor system is constantly changing 
the supply of blood in different parts of the body 
with the most precise adjustment according to the 
varying circumstances of the moment. 1 The cir- 
culation of the blood may sound at first mechanical 
enough (granted the initial wonder of the heart), 
and indeed most text-books describe it as the result 
merely of the action of a system of elastic tubes, 
connected with a self-acting force-pump; but " it is 
such views as these that degrade physiology and ob- 
scure the marvels of the body/' a As a matter of 
fact the circulation never runs for two minutes in 

1 For instance, in the regulation of the temperature, a bal- 
ance must be struck between the gain of heat ami the 
"As in all such cases, the nervous system is arbitrator. By 
keeping a hand on both these processes, it maintains the tem- 
perature constant/' Robmann and Sdler, The Human Frame, 
Eng. Trans., 2nd cd., TOOT, p. 87. 

2 Dr f A. T, Schofield, The Force of Mind, 1902, p, 54* 


the same manner; the blood flows through the in- 
numerable miles of capillaries which pervade nearly 
every tissue of the body, and these have to be opened 
or closed in different parts of the body with every 
change of temperature or position; at one moment 
they strengthen the brain for the work it is doing, 
at another they divert the necessary blood for mus- 
cular action or for the chemical processes of diges- 
tion. 1 And of all these ingenious operations the 
conscious mind is unaware if we had to direct 
them all, we should be doing nothing else day and 
night. But they are done with the required amount 
of care and discrimination in some region of the un- 

No doubt many such acts are purely reflex, and 
there is a reflex element in them all; but there is 
also certainly an " association " in some. And in 
any case to say a thing is reflex does not remove it 
from the realm of intelligence, for the highest men- 
tal activities are also reflex : Keats' Ode to a Night- 
ingale was a reflex action due to the song of that 
fowl plus a rather considerable amount of asso- 

l The effect of hypnotic suggestion upon the vase-motor 
system shows how impossible is the old mechanical idea: e.g., 
the experiments of Professors Bernheim and Beaunis, and of 
Professor Forel who has by suggestion restored arrested se- 
cretions at a fixed hour (Revue de I'Hypnotisme, 1889, P* 
298), of Dr. Burot who has lowered the temperature of a 
hand as much as ioC. (Ibid, 1800, p. 278), of Drs. KrafTt- 
Ebing, Bourru, Focachon, Ramadier, and others. Burot sup-* 
poses that the mechanism employed is the constriction of 
the brachial artery, beneath the biceps : " How can it be," he 
asks, "that when one merely says to the subject, 'your hand 
will become cold/ the vaso-motor nervous system answers ^by 
constricting 1 the artery to the degree necessary for achieving 
the result desired? That is a thing which passes our imagi- 


ciation. Nobody, indeed, has less cause to be afraid 
of the word reflex than the Christian, for whom the 
highest qualities of sainthood are the soul's response 
to the grace of God. 

And there is also a certain unification of mind be- 
tween the various centres in this lower level, which 
no mechanical explanation can possibly account for. 
Consider how the vaso-rnotor system acts, for in- 
stance, when microbes invade an open wound. Let 
me again quote the words of Charrin 

" Les terminaisons nerveuses previennent alors les cen- 
tres de cette introduction; ces centres repondent en en- 
voyant a la peripherie un ordre de vaso-dilatation ; ^in- 
flammation on plutot la fluxion, la douleur, la tumefaction 
de Galien apparaissent. Si on examine les phenomenes 
de plus pres, ou voit autour de ce corps etranger s'epan- 
cher un liquide sereux, s'accumuler des cellules nes sur 
place par suite de la pullulation de celles du tissu con- 
jonctif ou venues de plus loin, sorties des vaisseaux par 
diapedese," l 

In other words, the vaso-motor nerves so modify 
the blood-supply at the invaded place that phagocyte 
cells are born on the spot to do battle with the in- 

Or, take another part of the internal economy 
from the same writer who has so brilliantly illus- 
trated the activities of the body. The liver has to 
store up sugar and fat " with the forethought of an 

" Le foie se preoccupe des besoms de I'economie ; il lui 
distribue, aux heures voulues, et en quantitis deter- 
minees, divers elements, en particulicr ie sucre, quek|uc 

1 A. Charrin, Les Defenses tfaturelles de V Organism? f 
p. 286. 


peu, suivant les circonstances, la graisse. Phenomene 
remarquable ! cet organe ne livre pas ces elements aux 
tissus d'une raaniere aveugle; quand il reqoit des doses 
-considerables de glycose, il n'augmente pas pour cela les 
secours qu'il fait parvenir; il a la prevoyance de la 
fourmi; il entasse en magasin. Parfois il transforme ce 
glycose en graisse; I gramme de ce principe livre 0,37 
de cette graisse. . . . L/economie conserve ces amas 
adipeux qu'elle sait fabriquer avec difYerents elements 
proteiques aussi bien qu'en utilisant des corps ternaires. 

Take a still stranger example. During the first 
year of his life an infant subsists on milk, and con- 
sequently absorbs only the minutest amount of iron. 
But iron is necessary to his existence. Therefore, 
before he is born the babe stores up a supply of iron 
in the spleen, and a certain amount also in the liver. 2 
So he comes into the world the wise creature ! < 
with a reserve supply of iron that he uses up during 
the milk period, having thus made a better provision 
for the future than perhaps he will ever do again 
during the whole remainder of his life. 

This point as to the intelligent action of the un- 
dermind is so important that I will give one other il- 
lustration, this time from an English writer 

"In rickets the organism does not get enough lime 
salts to build up the skeleton of its normal strength. It, 
however, tries to make it as strong as possible by the 
formation of bone at the growing lines, along the con- 
cavities of curves and at such other parts as transmit a 
greater proportion of weight Most that is seen in rick- 
ets is the result of the effort made by the organism to 
render the ill-nourished skeleton able to perform its me- 
chanical work. Except for this effort life could not be 

* A. Charrin, Les Defenses Naturelles de I'Organime, 1898, 

PP; **>3j4. 
2 Ibid*, p. 70. 


carried on. In the skull the activity of the organism 
in meeting the condition of softened bone is enormously 
and efficiently increased. Observe here how effectually 
nature makes the best application with its very imperfect 
material/' * 

It has often been pointed out that the three levels 
are well illustrated by the way in which they may be 
successively paralysed in drunkenness, (i) First, 
the overmind, the highest level, is rendered impo- 
tent, and conscious intelligence ceases, because the 
cortex is poisoned ; (2) then the middle level is par- 
alysed, so that the hand and arm can no longer be 
used to raise the glass to the lips, mercifully for the 
victim; intelligence has gone, movement has gone, 
but the organs continue to function; (3) if, however, 
others continue to pour alcohol into the drunkard, 
the lowest level may also be paralysed, and then 
even mere existence ceases in death. It is because 
of the paralysing of the middle level that so few 
people die in drunkenness ; but death is in rare in- 
stances caused by a man rapidly taking- a further 
dose before this second stage has become complete. 2 

Co-operation of the Overmind with the Lowest Level 

There is then some kind of general subconscious 
intelligence even in the lower level of the under- 
mind, an interchange of necessary information, a 
certain unity of purpose even a display of remark- 
able engineering skill to meet emergencies. But 

3 W, Arbuthnot Lane, British Medical Journal, i8<X), p 

2 Dr. A. T. Schofield, Functional Nerve Diseases, 1908, p* 


since the nerves of the lower centres are connected 
up with the middle and upper centres, there must 
also be interchange between all three. We said in 
the chapter on the Nerves that there is, even be- 
tween the highest and the lowest ; and we illustrated 
this physiological fact by the influence of the brain- 
cortex on the lower centres in blushing and stigma- 

We have now come round by another route to 
the same point Let us illustrate what we may here 
call the action of overrnind over undermind by a 
few instances. 

The wisdom of the baby is the wisdom of his 
under-mind; the cells of his brain-cortex have not 
thrown out sufficient processes for him to be able 
to make much use of it, and his existence is at first 
as subconscious, it may be, as that of the earth- 
worm (pace his mother!), though, of course, far less 
simple. He can accomplish the process of digestion 
and evacuate the waste-products, but he cannot con- 
trol the time of this evacuation. He can sneeze, 
indeed, but he cannot blow his nose. His under- 
mind is at work, but his overmind has not assumed 

As the overmind develops, however, it governs, 
so far as is necessary, the work of the undermind; 
in the process of digestion, for instance, it controls 
the beginning and the end, but all that goes on in 
between is the secret work of the undermind. Only 
so far as is necessary, be it noted, does this super- 
vision exist; mercifully for us, the overmind does 
not have to meddle beyond its business, it does not 
have to see that the liver pours a sufficient quantity 


of bile into the duodenum, or to look after the won- 
derful peristaltic movement of the intestines. If 
we see a learned man visibly preoccupied with the 
processes of his digestion, we know that something 
is going wrong. To every member his own office : 
the various regions of the undermind know their 
own work and are jealous for the integrity of their 
functions. They ask but to be left alone: only 
when they are ill or injured do they signal to the 
overmind by the peremptory message of pain. In 
health, indeed, they are able to offer a great resist- 
ance to the blundering interference of their master. 
I can, for instance, by a conscious effort, stop the 
action of the lungs; but after I have held my breath 
for a few moments the very life of my body becomes 
endangered for want of oxygen : my tmclermind re- 
volts at my temerity and insists on regaining con- 
trol. I can hold my breath no longer, and rny lungs 
peaceably resume their work. 

The secreting action of certain glands can also be 
affected by the overmind, as everybody knows from 
the familiar instance of tears. Indeed, even the hid- 
den digestive process is not after all so aloof from 
the overmind as we might assume. The salivary 
glands so essential a part of the digestive ap- 
paratus are easily affected by thought : the idea 
of certain dishes may " make one's mouth water " ; 
and for this reason one way of bringing peace to a 
German band is to suck a lemon before the musi- 
cians, whereupon their mouths water and they cease 
to blow. 

Nay, we have always known that right down in 
the recesses of the viscera, the digestive processes 


can be influenced by thought ; we have, always known 
vaguely that a man's digestion may be spoiled by 
worry or bad temper and thai; merriment is hygienic 
at meal-times, and we have known quite definitely 
that fear can upset thejoutine of the intestines. But 
now we are told that thought normally promotes the 
action of the stomach in the habitual process of 
digestion. It has been ascertained that when food is 
put before one, the stomach then and there begins to 
prepare the juices for its digestion : the mere concept 
of food in the overmind causes the stomach to get 
to work before ever the food has been taken. Here 
then we have a necessary subconscious process nor- 
mally inaugurated by the overmind. 

Co-operation of all Three Levels 

Does this unity between the lowest and the high- 
est levels exist also between them and the intermedi- 
ate level ? In other words, are we to exclude from 
our conception that higher psychic region of the 
undermind, which memory, dreams, and hypnotism 
tell us of? Physiology show's that we certainly can- 
not ; for the stimuli of the cortex must pass through 
the mid-brain before reaching the spinal cord and 
sympathetic. We are, therefore, still safe in class- 
ing these diverse phenomena together as part of the 
subconscious self. 

And do we not, as a matter of fact, find all three 
levels concerned in the commonest actions? Take 
any ordinary exercise of the motor-nerves. I make 
a step forward, for instance. Here is an act of the 
overmind which wills the step gives the order: 


here also is an act of the lower lever, which con- 
tracts the necessary muscles. I do not know in the 
least how I am doing it; were it not for the re- 
searches of the anatomist I should not know that I 
do contract muscles at all That is the secret of the 
lower level, where precisely the right nerve-fibres 
are stimulated in precisely the right amount to cause 
the precise required contraction in the muscles where 
they end. 

But is that all? Certainly not. This art of 
walking I once learnt by many weeks of practice 
and how difficult it is to adjust the muscles so as to 
balance the body those people can realise who have 
learnt to bicycle, which is a much easier acquire- 
ment than walking. Somewhere in the undermind 
I have stored up the memories or the habits that I 
acquired in my childish practice. When I was a 
baby I could only kick my legs aimlessly, I had no 
conscious control of them; then as the legs grew 
stronger my overmind desired to walk, but I could 
not walk properly until, after many tumbles, I had 
passed the experience of the overmind into the sub- 
conscious region, and then I could walk without 
thinking about it So now when I take a step, all 
three levels co-operate: my overmind gives the or- 
der, the middle level by the acquired habit co-relates 
various motor-nerves in arms and head and trunk 
and legs, and in the lower level the nerves are con- 

Thus we learn to play any game, and thus we ac- 
quire all the arts of life. We pass down into the 
undermind things which once needed all our thought, 
and we are able to give our attention to something 


else. I do not know how I am forming the letters as 
I write, but once that was a process which required 
all my attention and was then but ill done : now my 
undermind attends to It, and I am able to think of 
what I am writing about, but all the while the mus- 
cles of my fingers are being stimulated down in the 
lower level, where also my respiration, and, I hope, 
the rest of my functions, are being properly attended 

We need hardly pursue these illustrations any 
farther. We need hardly point out that a pianist 
who talks when he plays is using the three levels in 
three distinct ways, all the difficult process of playing 
being taken over by the middle brain; or that the 
familiar maxim of golf, " keep your eye on the ball/' 
is really a psychological device for securing the con- 
trol of the overmind at the moment when the three 
levels are concentrated into one common effort. 



HITHERTO we have assumed that there is only mind 
where there are nerves, and that the neurons are the 
lowest units o intelligence. This was all we needed 
to show the universal action of mind in the body; 
and the discovery of the complete unification of the 
nervous system has made it sufficiently portentous. 

But we should not be true to the facts if we 
stopped here. Other modern discoveries oblige us 
to take a step further, and to say something about 
the cells of which the body is composed and which 
for the sake of clearness we have not mentioned until 
now. The body is made up of millions upon mil- 
lions of microscopic specks of protoplasm called cells, 
and these cells are themselves living creatures 
in some subordinate sense they are endowed with 
some sort of mind. Thus there can be mind even 
without any nerves. A single undifferentiated cell 
has a psychology : it is a a nucleated mass of proto- 
plasm endowed with the attributes of life," I and in 
it we have the beginnings of mind " psychological 
phenomena begin among the very lowest class of 
beings ; they are met with in every form of life, from 

J A. A. Bohm, M. von Davidoflf, Te#t~book of Histology, 
Ed, by Dr. K. Huher, 2nd ed., 1904, p. 58 and passim. 



the simplest cellule to the most complicated organ- 

sm. 3 ' 

We can see this quite clearly if we look at those 
minute living- creatures outside the body., which con- 
sist of one cell only and maintain an independent 
life the unicellular organisms as they are called. 
There are countless multitudes of such creatures, 
each a mere speck of protoplasm, a single cell, hav- 
ing neither nerves, mouth, stomach, nor any organs 
whatever. Yet these creatures have that sort of 
mind which we call instinct. Binet 2 has shown that 
one-celled organisms have the following powers 

1. The perception of the external object. 

2. The choice made between a number of objects. 

3. The perception of their position in space. 

4. Movements calculated either to approach the 

body and seize it, or to flee from it 

There is a wide variety of character in such mi- 
crobes. Some live in one way, some in another; 
some make to themselves shells of one pattern, some 
of another, most make no shells at all ; some are lit- 
tle animals, others are little vegetables; some are 
rod-shaped, and are called bacilli, some cork-screw 
shaped, and are called spirilla, some are round ; some 
breed poisons, causing the most terrible diseases, and 
are called pathogenic, some are perfectly harmless,, 
some are exceedingly beneficial. But microbes of 
this kind are alike individualists. 

*A. Binet, La Vie Psychique des Micro-orgvnisntes. See- 
Preface to the American edition (T. T. McCormack, 1889) 
written by the author. 

2 La Vie Psychique des Micro-organiswes, p. 61. 


In our bodies, however, the cells are communists 
of a description so pronounced that until recently 
their separate existence was not even guessed at 
Yet they have a separate existence; each one is 
born, lives, does its work, and dies : in some tissues 
this is a constant familiar process, just as young men 
step into the place of the old, so do young cells arise 
as the old die. The body, for instance, is con- 
stantly shedding scurf all over its surface, and under 
the microscope this scurf is seen to consist of dead 
cells ; -but all the while in the deep layer of the epi- 
dermis new cells are being formed by division, and 
fed up to their proper size by the capillary blood- 
vessels of the dermis* 

For the most part the cells are grouped into a 
unity so intense that they build themselves up into 
a particular tissue ; but in order to do this they have 
to take in from the blood the special materials re- 
quired, so that some may become bone, and others 
skin or nails or hair, others connective tissue, and so 
on. Thus we may speak of a hunger of the cells; 
whatever deficiency they " feel," the cells take in 
from the blood as it flows past in the porus capillaries 
(themselves made of single cells joined together), 
and as they supply deficiency so they return excess ; 
sulphur is deposited here, in the skin; phosphorus 
there, in the brain ; lime in the bones, carbon in the 
pigment-tissues, and proteids everywhere. 

But they not only receive; some also give* 
Groups of cells form the most skilful laboratories, 
and manufacture chemicals which are in health ex- 
actly proportioned to the needs of the whole body. 

Thus even in this " too solid flesh " there is life 


of a kind undreamt of a few years ago. Even such 
an apparently mechanical process as osmosis, that 
porous action by which the physiologists explain the 
passing of fluid substances through the membranes 
into the blood and through the blood-vessels into the 
tissues even this fundamentally important process, 
is now known to be due in part to some action of the 
living cells which line these tracts, and not merely 
to a kind of mechanical filtration. 

And certain cells, we must remember, are not 
bound up in this corporate life, but wander loose 
about the vascular system. Everyone has heard of 
the white corpuscles of the blood, as leucocytes or 
phagocytes : these are single nucleated cells like the 
microbes of the outside world, only that they are 
made in and by the body. They wander to and fro, 
seeking whom they may devour, and when the mi- 
crobes of disease find their way into the blood, as 
they do every movement, the roving phagocytes ap- 
proach them, throw out amoeboid processes so that 
(though without limbs, or mouth, or stomach) they 
devour these terrible enemies of our race. We owe 
in fact our power of resisting the parasitic diseases 
to these privateers of the blood, aided by certain 
chemical properties which they assist in producing. 

How much more fearfully and wonderfully made 
we are than the Psalmist could ever have dreamt ! 

And there is unity in all this strange lower world 
of cells. There is some sort of common " mind " ; 
for they work perfectly together, they signal each 
Other's needs in some way, they supply each other's 
needs. We are indeed here down in a region where 
we hesitate to use the word " mind/* even in quota- 


tion marks ; yet we find powers that are not mechani- 
cal character, individuality, the capacity of choice, 
in a word " life," a subconsciousness that is essen- 
tially different from the properties of a crystal, 
though it may be like that of a plant. And we have 
an " instinct " for corporate action. 

I am anxious not to build theories on all this. A 
new science like Histology is an easy field for wild 
assumptions, and we shall be wise to resist the temp- 
tation. Only, the existence of cell-life needed to be 
mentioned in order that our conception o human 
psychology may be true to facts. 

Thus man is not only a spirit controlling a body, 
but the body which he inhabits is itself made up of 
millions of limited but real " souls," each occupying 
a cell and doing its own necessary bit of work. His 
system is " colonial " ; his subconscious mind is the 
" communal soul," or, shall we say, the governor of 
the colony, while his conscious mind is the king. 
Sometimes the king interferes with the governor; 
but the governor rules the colony in a general way 
on his own initiative; the inhabitants follow their 
several occupations which together make up the life 
of the country. Something like this is the body of 
man. The cells are inhabitants who have a certain 
amount of independence, and understand each his 
own trade; but their activities are regulated by the 
governor, who uses the nerves as telegraphs, and 
who uses the corpuscles, that is the cells which run 
about the arteries and veins, as his soldiers and civil 
servants; * for the roads of this colony are the ar- 

1 The number of the blood corpuscles is beyond imagination, 
It has been calculated that "between 4,000,000 and 5,000,000 


teries and veins, and the blood-cells are the provision 
carriers, engineers, warriors, and scavengers./ The 
undermind or subconscious self regulates the supply 
of blood by dilating or contracting the arteries, and 
thus whatever measure of independence the cells 
may have, they ultimately depend upon the under- 
mind because they ultimately depend upon the blood. 
By increasing or diminishing the flow of blood the 
activities of the different colonies of cells are in- 
creased or diminished, and the cells die if the soul is 
withdrawn ; thus life depends upon the central life. 
I do not know that histology helps us any further 
in our knowledge of the undermind. It only shows 
that there is in us a region of life below the bottom 
of the undermind, and that the individuals of this 
silent world have some perhaps infinitely small 
degree of subconsciousness. There may be no 
psychic connection between the mind and them. It 
is true that the mind has some control over them; 
but this control may be entirely mechanical, like the 
control of a driver over a horse. It is certainly 
mechanical in the main nutritive process, for though 
some part of the mind controls this by regulating the 
distribution of the blood, the last stage of that 
psychic act is mechanical once the arteries have 
been contracted or dilated by the nerves, the blood 
flows to the capillaries by mechanical action, and 
there is no psychic link between that action of the 

red corpuscles are contained in a cubic millimetre." Gray's 
Anatomy, 1905. The soldiers, that is the phagocytes, or white 
corpuscles, are, as might be expected, only a small fraction 
of this enormous population, though their number is con- 
stantly varying; it is estimated in the later editions of Gray 
at from 10,000 to 12,000 in a cubic millimetre. 


nerves and the feeding of the cells. The ttndermind 
does, indeed, seem to be in some way aware of their 
varying needs; but this does not presuppose a 
psychic link, any more than such a link is required 
when a man is aware that his plants need watering. 

We laid it down in a former chapter that when 
there are nerves there is mind. Let us remain con- 
tent with this. Life there is indeed below the region 
of nervous action life endowed with individuality, 
with varying instincts, and with some kind of in- 
fimal consciousness ; but it will be simpler if we con- 
fine the idea of mind to that energy which works 
through the nerves. 1 This cell-world with its in- 
numerable millions of inhabitants is then in some 
way controlled by the undermind certainly in a 
mechanical way, and it may be in part also in a 
psychic way, as there is perhaps a psychic element 
an the driving of a horse. The control of the under- 
mind is capable of the most ingenious adjustments, 
as when lime is supplied to the cells which are en- 
gaged in joining a broken bone. The common- 
wealth of cells fights -its own battles through the 
agency of the phagocytes and of those cells which 
secrete antitoxins and other substances; but it de- 
pends for its nourishment on the undermind, as an 
infant depends upon its mother. Apparently when, 
as in disease or abnormal growths, the cells break 
down or go wrong, there must be some relaxation of 
control in the undermind. Certainly they cannot 
long survive the death of the man whose vesture 

1 The nerves themselves have their own individual life, 
since they too are cells with enormously long fibrous con- 


they are, though as in the case of the ciliated cells, 1 
they may continue their activity for hours or even 
days after that event. In death the overmind gen- 
erally goes first, and the man becomes unconscious ; 
then the undermind ceases its activities, and the 
heart stops. Last of all the cells die also. 

1 These strange cells form the surface of parts of the epi- 
thelium where it is necessary that secretions should be kept 
moving along, as in the nostrils and bronchia. About three 
or four thousand of them in a row would form a line an 
inch long. They execute a very rapid fanning or lashing 
movement by means of their innumerable hair-like extremities, 
though of course, being mere cells, they have neither muscles 
nor nerves: this movement enables them to impel matter 
along the surfaces to which they are attached. In aquatic 
animalculae they serve the purpose of locomotion and perform 
other necessary offices. 



WHAT then is health, and what is disease, regarded, 
not superficially and physically, but regarded funda- 
mentally and psychically? For the physical condi- 
tion is but the effect of something more substantial 
(using the word in its exact sense) of something-, 
that is to say, which underlies it. In the oft-quoted 
words of Dr. Weir Mitchell, " ? Tis not the body, but 
the man is ill " or well. 

It is always easier to talk about disease than about 
health which is no doubt the reason why some 
people habitually do so. The normal working of 
the body does not afford such good " copy " as its 
misbehaviour, just as the crimes of men fill our 
newspapers because there is nothing startling to be 
said about the persistence of ordinary virtues a 
case of patricide occupies a column, and a Martian 
visitor might therefore imagine that no instances oc- 
cur of filial duty, which is indeed the kind of mistake 
we are always making in our reading of history. 
But, after all, it is better to contemplate virtue than 
vice, better to look at the body in its perfection than 
in its degradation, better for those who are not 
pathologists to dwell upon health than disease. 

For health is not the mere absence of disease. It 
is disease that is negative and abnormal, Physical 



health is something positive and fundamental : it is 
the result of a vital power which resists molecular 
degradation, and keeps the molecules of the body 
specialised in the building up of the cells. 

All disease is, it would seem, really a disease of 
the cells : * microbes may invade the body in swarms 
but unless the cells suffer from their poison there is 
no disease ; some creatures are thus " tolerant " of a 
microbe that is fatal to others, because the cells are 
unaffected by the toxin. So long as the cells are 
well there is no disease ; but when the cells go wrong 
the body as a whole begins to be ill. And the life 
of the cells is dependent on the central life of the 
body: when that life is withdrawn, they are no 
longer able to resist the natural laws of chemistry 
and of physics that would reduce them to simpler 
constituents; but while that central life remains, it 
supplies the cells methodically with the necessary 
materials for their existence. It does this through 
the agency of the nerves ; and because it inhabits the 
nerves we call it mind, but because it is subconscious 
we have agreed to call it undermind. 

Thus it is the undermind which is immediately 
responsible for health and for that failure of the 
cells which we call disease. It is the man himself 
that is ill, and his illness shows itself in the derange- 
ment of some part or parts of his body : his constitu- 
tion, as we say, is not strong enough to resist those 
lower laws which are ever threatening the stability 
of that vital balance whereby we hold the molecules 
in fee. His " constitution " becomes listtess about 
some necessary function, refusing to renew the cells, 

* Rudolf Virchow, Cellular Pathology, 1860. 


or building- them up amiss, or failing to cast out the 
minute devils of parasitic invasion. 

Yet the undermind is intimately bound up with 
the overmind; it is but a part of the whole self; and 
though this old and trusted servant is to a great ^ex- 
tent independent of its master, the conscious mind, 
yet the character of the master has a great influence 
upon it. The loss of courage, patience, hope, or 
faith in the master, can have a most demoralising ef- 
fect upon the servant; and on the other hand the 
determination of the master can make even a bad 
servant keep up to his work a strong-minded man 
can do wonders with a feeble constitution. 

Health, then, is the full activity of the subliminal 
self, which in thousands of ways is working, con- 
trolling, regulating the functions of the body. This 
self is in constant connection with the cells and with 
all the organs that they compose, through the nerves 
and through the blood, which it distributes in ever- 
varying directions ; it thus superintends the renewal 
of worn-out tissue, and assists at the birth of new 
cells as the old ones die. The result of all this is 
physical health. The subconscious mens sana pro- 
duces the corpus sanum. 

Recovery from disease is also a psychic process. 
It is ultimately effected by thq mind : sometimes the 
overmind has a large and sometimes a small share in 
assisting the undermind, but it is the undermind that 
is responsible for recovery, as it is for health or 

We may compare the body to a motor car an 
elaborate piece of mechanism which cannot work 
unless it is fed with petrol and oil. Then the under- 


mind is the motorman, and the overmind is the 
owner of the car. The motorman is an old and 
trusted servant who thoroughly understands his 
work, and does it in his own way. All the owner 
has to do is to tell his servant where and how he 
wants the car to go. The owner does not know 
much about the mechanism of the car; but sometimes 
he makes the motorman overstrain it, and often 
(strange as it may seem) he insists on his man feed- 
ing the works with stuff that does it harm. Also the 
roads are in very bad condition, and deleterious for- 
eign matter gets into the works. Then the owner 
tells his servant to clean the machine, and perhaps to 
mend it. The motorman generally succeeds, but 
sometimes the damage is too great, and he is non- 
plussed. Then the owner calls in a professional man 
to assist, and if he is wise he lays to himself and as- 
sists also. But this human machine is so delicately 
constructed that if the motorman throws up the job 
no one else can do it for him. And this subcon- 
scious servant does become very demoralised some- 
times ; and often it is his master's own weak charac- 
terthat has demoralised him. 

What, then, is the doctor to do ? It is absolutely 
necessary for him to bring the servant to his senses, 
if the machine is to be mended. Often he can do 
this by skill : he can mend the broken part for the 
despairing servant, who then cheers up and sets him- 
self to do the rest and put the car in motion again 
especially if his master also encourages him. 
This is what happens, for instance, in a successful 
operation. Often again all that the doctor has to 
do is to give the servant a little good oil and then to 


leave him to make what use he likes of it This is 
what happens when the body is cured through the 
stomach ; even if the servant does not make much 
use of the food or the drug, it cheers him up. Or 
the matter may be set right by moving the car and 
its occupants to a better environment: a change 
brightens up both master and servant, and fresh air 
has wonderful effects upon this sort of motor. 
Often, again, the doctor has only to give the servant 
a few hints and that intermediary takes up the idea 
with enthusiasm and puts things to rights. We call 
this suggestion : sometimes it is conveyed by words, 
sometimes by touch, sometimes by manner, and 
sometimes by the moral effect of drugs, but it is 
always an idea that is really conveyed. But the 
breakdown may be largely the fault of the owner, 
who has utterly demoralised his servant. Then the 
doctor gives the owner a good talking to, or tries to 
encourage him ; for he sees that conscious mind has 
been the real cause of the disease. 

At last the car really does wear out past repairing. 
Master and servant tear themselves away from it 
with great regrets, and the poor old car is " scrap- 
ped " by Nature. 

This parable does not need any explanation. 
Every doctor knows that, however great a share he 
may have in a cure, he is only co-operating with the 
patient. 1 He may call it the vis mcdicatrix nature, 
he may say that Nature does her work, but he is only 
using the vague expression which was inevitable 

1 " But for the natural tendencies of the body towards 
health when disturbed by disease, the art of healing could 
not exist." Dr. A. K. Carter, British Medical Journal, Nov. 
3rd, 1900 (p. 1300). 


before we knew that it is the subliminal part of the 
man himself that does it. The doctor assists the 
undermind, and his assistance is often utterly indis- 
pensable : for instance, he " sets " a broken limb, 
and gives the undermind every assistance, but it is 
that mind which brings up the necessary material to 
the fracture and so joins the bone together. Or the 
surgeon performs an operation which easily cures 
a disease that otherwise would result in death. 
Now, even an operation is not a purely material 
thing: it is a co-operation of the surgeon's highly 
competent mind with the undermind of the patient. 
The surgeon's overmind uses his undermind, his un- 
dermind uses his muscles, his muscles use his in- 
struments. The patient's overmind is put on one 
side by the anaesthetic ; but his undermind is busy 
looking after his body all the time the master is 
asleep, but not the servant. 

Now, it is always wise to call in the best advice 
we can, when we need it If we want a piece of 
Greek explained, we ask a scholar; if we need 
spiritual assistance we get help from a priest; if 
physical, we get it from a doctor. I know many 
people don't; and I know they can always plead 
that there are silly parsons and incompetent prac- 
titioners, and that history is strewn, with the mis- 
takes of priests and doctors perhaps I am the vic- 
tim of prejudice when I say that it would be easier to 
defend the religion of past ages than its science. 
But as a matter of fact we cannot know every- 
thing ourselves, and each year our personal faction 
becomes smaller because knowledge increases; and 
civilisation does consist in the differentiation of 


knowledge among experts. Therefore, if we are 
wise, we shall get the best advice we can. 

In minor therapeutic matters we may not need 
advice. If my undermind has been weak enough to 
admit an invasion of those small enemies who give 
me a cold, I leave my undermind to recover its equi- 
librium, while the phagocytes pursue them till they 
are utterly devoured. Yet even here how many of 
us do need the advice of the expert to make us un- 
derstand that the cold was not due to a draught or 
to wet feet; and that the best way to avoid colds is 
to have as much fresh air as possible ! 



THERE are many sincere and intelligent people who 
think that all material methods of treating disease 
are wrong. Personally I have no doubt that they 
are mistaken, because their principle is built on an 
outworn theological heresy. But I would say to 
them, as to those who are impatient with them, let 
us seek the truth, let us " try the spirits. 5 ' And I 
would add this that supposing all they say is 
true and supposing that with sufficient faith all 
disease could be prevented or cured by spiritual 
methods alone, yet it would remain certain that 
for a long time to come only a small minority will 
have sufficient faith, and therefore that to ignore 
the material methods would be to condemn thou- 
sands upon thousands of people to death. 

Meanwhile the hygienic factor in health and in 
recovery will increase, and the mental factor will 
increase, and the spiritual factor will increase. For 
myself I clearly believe that God gives us all things 
both material and spiritual to be rightly used, and 
that he sees them that they are very good. 

We should indeed be flying in the face of both 
truth and providence, if we pushed the possibilities 
of the subliminial region so far as to deny that it 
could be helped by material means, or to assert that, 



unaided, it could cure all diseases. If we acted on 
such a principle as this we should in plain English, 
be murderers. I have already instanced surgery in 
this connection; and it is easy to show the marvel- 
lous effects of certain drugs in destroying parasites 
or in neutralising their toxins. Can any reasonable 
person object to such things? 

And, be it remembered, the great majority of the 
diseases that afflict mankind are due to the invasion 
of microscopic organisms the best known as yet 
being the vegetable microbes called bacteria. Ulti- 
mately the power to resist them lies with the " con- 
stitution," that is with the undermind; but they 
can be prevented from ever reaching us at all by 
the habitual practice of cleanliness and by the 
special use of disinfectants; and, if they do reach 
us, they can in many cases already be destroyed 
or rendered harmless by the use of antitoxins, 
or even by the injection of other microbes which 
destroy them. By the spread of cleanliness some 
of the most terrible scourges of humanity have 
been removed from amongst us ; by the use of dis- 
infectants other so-called zymotic diseases are pre- 
vented from spreading and are being rapidly re- 

To shut one's eyes, as many do, to these things 
because they are " material" is certainly foolish, 
and it is as certainly unchristian. Our whole earthly 
life is lived under material conditions and the es- 
sence of Christianity is that it recognises the spirit- 
ual significance of these conditions and uses them to 
the highest ends as sacraments of the eternal. It is 
no doubt true that drugs have been glorified exces- 


sively, amd that doctors believe in them less now 
than they did ; but this is not because there is any- 
thing irreligious about swallowing drugs for healing 
purposes if they disappear, it will be because 
they are against science and not because they are 
against religion. It is highly probable that some 
drugs will always remain in use; and we cannot 
object to their use if they are efficacious, any more 
than we can object to taking salt in our food, or 
indeed to taking food altogether for, after all, 
there is nothing more " material " than the swallow- 
ing of food, and the question of drugs is merely as 
to what are the best constituent elements of the 
extremely varied stuff which passes into the human 

Let medical science, then, by all means wean us 
from the habit of drinking medicine upon every 
occasion, a habit into which we were led by science 
in its infancy; let it lay greater and greater stress 
upon the psychic elements which have been so un- 
wisely neglected ; but still it will have a vast amount 
to do on the material plane. It may give us fewer 
things to swallow, it may use increasingly the more 
direct method of subcutaneous injection, it may 
devise new ways of assisting the material work of 
the undermind against parasitic invasion. But 
more especially will it continue with increasing suc- 
cess to make war upon the world of parasites that 
is without. What nature does on a large scale by 
the action of sunlight in destroying these microbes, 
it will do by the use of germicidal liquids and gases 
co-operating in its material way with the material 
ways of nature. And above all it will render us 


proof against disease by teaching us to avail our- 
selves more of the sunlight, and of the air, and of 
the water; and to be temperate and wise in the use 
of food and in the constant habits of our life; nor 
will it be satisfied till it has made us clean, without 
and within, and swept the last of our innumerable, 
invisible enemies from our homes and from our 
streets, till civilisation becomes as free from such 
disease as extra-human nature is. - 

This is all very material, but it is none the less 
religious and divine. It is an armoury of material 
weapons forged by the highest qualities of intelli- 
gence, patience, courage, and charity. 

People who talk lightly about medical science, as 
if it consisted in the bewildering mixture of un- 
pleasant drugs, do not surely realise what that 
science has already done; and they lay themselves 
open to the retort that whereas a horrible disease like 
the plague survived the use of litanies, processions, 
and prayers, it has succumbed to the humbler meth- 
ods of hygiene. It has succumbed because God 
intends us to be clean and wise, and because godli- 
ness without cleanliness, amd prayer without care, 
are not the way of God for men. Already the mi- 
crobe has been discovered of the worst diseases 
phthisis, syphilis, diptheria, typhoid, cholera, 
plague, leprosy, puerperal fever, lock-jaw, gan- 
grene, and septic poisoning in wounds. Already 
our knowledge as to the cause has led in some cases 
to our learning how to protect our brother against 
the parasites, or to cure him of it. 

Most people do not at all realise how much has 
been already done. Take London, for instance; 


typhus has been stamped out, and the deaths from 
whooping cough have been halved in twenty years : 
the death-rate from the principal epidemic diseases 
taken together has been reduced to the following 
remarkable extent : 

Between 1881 and 1890, the deaths were 3.05 per 1,000 
per annum. 

In 1905, the deaths were 1.70 per 1,000 per annum. 

And if we go further back, the saving of life is 
even more remarkable; for in 1841 the expectation 
of life for a London baby was only 35 years, 
whereas already in 1881-90 it had risen to 39.85, 
and in 1900 it stood at 40.98, -j , 

Or take the discovery of the phthisis bacillus, with 
the consequent cure by the simplest methods of fresh 
air, and the prospect of complete eradication by the 
spread of cleanly habits. What a change has come 
over many a family in the knowledge that neither it 
nor any similar disease can probably be inherited! 
What a weapon we have against it now that we 
know it to be infectious! Already what progress 
has been made ! Here are the figures for London 

In 1881-90, 2.09 persons died of phthisis per 1,000 per 

In 1905, 1.42 persons died of phthisis per 1,000 per 

which is only one-half of the death-rate from 
phthisis in the period from 1861-70. 

It is the same in other cities. Dr. Hermann M. 
Biggs, the head Medical Officer of New York, in a 
recent paper has stated that there has been a reduc- 
tion in New York City of about 40 per cent, in the 


deaths from tuberculosis since 1886; and he con- 

" I have no doubt that the measures, first begun in a 
very small way in New York City fifteen years ago, 
inadequate as they have been, have resulted in saving 
the lives of at least 20,000 persons. The annual deaths 
in the Greater City still number between nine and ten 
thousand, and we know that these are, to a very large 
extent, unnecessary." 

This is a wonderful record, and "no one doubts 
that the germs of other diseases will be similarly 
discovered and controlled. Natural scientists do 
not hesitate to claim that the victory is already in 
sight . 

" It is a matter of practical certainty," says Sir E. Ray 
Lankester, 1 " that, by the unstinted application of known 
methods of investigation and consequent controlling ac- 
tion, all epidemic disease could be abolished within a 
period so short as fifty years." 

Such are the achievements and such the hopes of 
natural science. The doctors, like the clergy, have 
doubtless committed many mistakes. in the past, but 
therapeutics like theology makes sure progress all 
the same, and both are reaching forward to that 
final sacramentalism where matter and spirit are at 

It may be that some enthusiasts for mind-cure 
may experience a certain disappointment at being 
told by the voice of natural science that the great 
majority of diseases will be destroyed without any 
help from them ; but any such feeling would be un- 

Kingdom of Man, 1906, p. 36. He ^ points out that 
this unstinted application cannot be given without a consid- 
erable further endowment of research. 


worthy of a moral creature, and would show also a 
fatally incomplete understanding of the known ways 
of God. And, indeed, when all our external ene- 
mies are rendered powerless, there will still be ample 
need for the mental factor in the recovery from 
sickness ; and still more will it be true that in wise 
and moral actions, and in the inward balance of mind 
and wholeness of the spirit lies the great secret of 
well-being for body and for soul the secret of 
that which later on we shall venture to call by the 
high name of Salvation. 



Nervous Control: Doctors and Suggestion: Nor- 
mality of Mind-cure: Limitations in 
Mind-cure: Hypnotism 

WE shall not help on the cause of truth by belittling 
the share in health and healing of those material 
agencies which act directly on the body. But when 
all has been said, the importance of the mental factor 
remains enormous. To the activity of the under- 
mind health is due; there is no recovery without at 
least the co-operation of the undermind; and mil- 
lions of people recover from sickness without 
medical aid, that is to say, by the action of the under- 
mind alone. But, regarded both physiologically 
and psychologically, the undermind is of one piece 
with the overmind. Therefore the mental condi- 
tion of the patient his conscious mental condition 
has much to do with the recovery of his body, 
and the mental influence of others may considerably 
affect that condition.) 

To revert for a moment to our former illustration 
a man is like a motor-car that flashes past us in the 
road : The untutored spectator says, " How won- 
derful ! " But physiology is inquisitive : it gets hold 
of a car that has run down, and picks it to pieces. 
" Here/' it explains triumphantly, " is the way the 



whole thing works, and here are the very handles 
by which the machinery is directed.' 1 Then psy- 
chology comes along and says, " Very true, but you 
have not explained everything. I have observed 
that there was a man in the car ; and if there had not 
been, you will agree that those handles and that 
steering-wheel would be of no use whatever." So 
it is with the nerves : when they exist they show that 
there is an intelligence at work somewhere behind 
them ; and they exist, not only in the locomotive ap- 
paratus of the human body, but everywhere. 

Nervous Control 

It is necessary to dwell on this. Partly because I 
want to bring the cautious reader along with me, 
and I know that he feels safe in the physical realm. 
Partly also because there are multitudes of intelli- 
gent people who have no idea what the nerves are. 
If you ask the first person you meet, he will probably 
tell you that nerves are the things which cause us to 
'feel pain. Perhaps he will go further, and say that 
they are the transmitters of sensation. In any case 
he will probably limit his definition to the sensory 
nerves which bring messages to the mind, and will 
ignore the mo tor nerves which carry messages from 
the mind to all parts of the body. Conse- 
quently the popular conception of the nerves is 
gloomy : they are the symbols of pain, their energy 
is almost instinctively regarded as maleficent, bring- 
ing "an attack of nerves/' though one might as 
reasonably speak of an attack of muscles. When 
we say that a man is muscular, we mean that his 


muscles are strong, but when we say that he is nerv- 
ous we mean that his nerves are weak it is only 
In the case of literary style that " nervous " is 
allowed to have a good meaning in ^ common 
speech about health we mean that a man is jumpy, 
or sometimes we only mean that he is afraid of 


This melancholy conception is itself the cause of 
a good deal of illness. Health will be more secure, 
and recovery will be easier, when people understand 
that the nervous system is the throne and instrument 
of reason and the physical evidence that the entire 
mind, conscious and subconscious, controls the entire 


As to the extent of that control there are differ- 
ences of opinion; but no one denies its existence. 
Nor does any physician or authority nowadays deny 
the possibility of the conscious mind restoring the 
body to health. There is such a thing as mental 
healing: everyone agrees about this, and the more 
readily if we give it the humbler name of mind-cure. 

Let us be clear about it. By mind-cure or mental 
healing is meant not the mere subliminal action of 
mind on body but cure through the action of the 
conscious mind. And we will use the words in this 
sense : Though there is a mental element in all re- 
covery, we will refuse the name of mind-cure to 
every case in which there has not been conscious 
mental action, either on the part of the patient or on 
the part of someone influencing the patient. 1 

* No doubt such a common remedy as " going away for a 
change of air" is often essentially mind-cure. But for the 
purpose of our argument we may pass over such simple in- 
stances as this. 


It is not of course admitted that all diseases can 
always be thus cured. But it is admitted that some 
diseases can sometimes be thus cured. The thing 
is possible. It is also agreed by doctors that in their 
usual practice the mental element holds an im- 
portant place. 

Doctors and Suggestion 

Every medical man indeed knows that as soon as 
his eye meets the eye of the patient he is exercising 
a mental power which is a real factor in his treat- 
ment ; and it was from the doctors that most of us 
first learnt the therapeutic value of faith and hope. 
There is, of course, nothing new about all this : more 
than fifty years ago Sir Andrew Clark declared that 
the mental factor is always present 

" It is impossible for us to deal knowingly and wisely 
with the various disorders of the body without distinctly 
recognising the agency of states and conditions of mind, 
often in producing and always in modifying them when 
produced. l"here is a very intimate relation between the 
mind and material elements of the human constitution." 1 

No doubt the importance of this has been insuffi- 
ciently recognised, but there is no dispute as to the 
fact. However much the mental factor may have 
been neglected in the medical schools, the young 
doctor soon acquires some empirical knowledge of it, 
and his success with his patients largely depends on 
his appreciation of the fact that they have souls as 
well as bodies. From Hippocrates downwards, 
wrote Dr. Laycock, forty years ago, the most emi- 
nent physicians have all been either metaphysicians 

1 " Introductory Lecture, by Dn Andrew Clark, at the Lon- 
don Hospital." Lancet, Oct. 6th, 1855. 


or mental psychologists ; " for a knowledge of the 
facts and principles of a practical science of mind is 
fundamentally necessary to the practice of medicine. 1 
Upon this point, indeed, there is no difference of 
opinion aimongst intelligent persons, either in or out 
of the profession. And it is also true that the phy- 
sician's own psychic qualities have much to do with 
his success, which is no doubt largely the reason why 
one doctor becomes a leading consultant while 
another who is his intellectual equal does not rise 
out of the ranks ; nay, it is said by surgeons that 
even in their department a great deal of successful 
surgery depends upon confidence in the operator. 
Consciously or unconsciously, the successful doctor 
makes great use both of his psychological knowl- 
edge his "knowledge of the human heart" 
and of his own psychic power. 2 

He does indeed require great knowledge and ex- 
perience, because, for one thing, a mistaken diagno- 
sis may be fatal ; and this is one of the reasons why 
the unqualified practitioner may be dangerous, and 
why it is so important that neither mind-cure nor 

1 T. Laycock, Mind and Brain, 1869, Vol. I, pt I, p. 20. 

2 Dr. Schofield states this with some humour in a passage 
which a layman may perhaps venture to quote : 

"There lurks in the mind of every doctor who reads these 
pages a suspicion that he has a something about him which 
is of value to his patient over and beyond the outward and 
visible sign of his faith in drugs, as obscurely manifest in 
the crabbed hieroglyphics on his prescriptions. And there is 
a consciousness, too, in every actual or potential patient who 
may scan these lines, that there is a something^ about his 
doctor that does him more good than the medicines, which 
indeed he rarely takes. And the doctor he likes is the one 
he sends for; in spite of the fact that the other doctor in 
the town has a greater scientific reputation, and a longer 
string of letters after his name." The Force of Mind, 1902, 
pp. 22-3. 


faith-healing should be divorced from the medical 
profession. But none the less, even when the doc- 
tor administers drugs, he heals largely by sugges- 
tion ; and this is no doubt the reason why drugs like 
dresses have their vogue, becoming suddenly fash- 
ionable and then losing their potency. Suggestion 
would also explain the success of homoeopathy ; and 
it is quite sufficient to account for the cures that 
seem to be worked by those graphically advertised 
patent medicines which disfigure our newspapers. 

Nothing indeed illustrates the potency of sugges- 
tion more strikingly than its effect upon the action 
of drugs, and still more its power of causing bread- 
pills or water to act like drugs, as in Durand's 
famous case, where an irresponsible house-surgeon 
tried an experiment on 100 patients in a hospital 

" The house-surgeon administered to them such inert 
draughts as sugared water; then, full of alarm, he 'pre- 
tended to have made a mistake in inadvertently giving 
them an emetic, instead of syrup of gum. . . . No 
fewer than 80 four-fifths were unmistakably sick. 
How many of the rest suffered from nausea is not 
stated." * 

Normality of Mind-cure 

Mind-cause and mind-cure are thus a recognised 
and undisputed force affecting normal healthy- 
minded human beings. Let us be clear about this, 
becatise just as by a " nervous " person is com- 
monly meant a person with weak nerves so a 
person susceptible to mind-cure is often regarded as 
a person with a weak mind. This was for some time 

r, de Gros Durand, " Essais de Physiologie Philosophi- 
ques." D. Hack Tuke, Illustrations of the Influence of the 
Mind upon the Body, 1884, I, p. 136. 


the accepted view of the scientific pioneers : Charcot, 
for instance, and his school at La Salpetriere, as I 
have already said, 1 thought that only hysteri- 
cal persons could be hypnotised, till it was shown by 
the Nancy school that almost everybody can be 
brought under hypnotism. In the same way it is 
ordinary healthy-minded persons who are subject 
to mind-cure; and since women are often credited 
with a monopoly in this respect, it is necessary to 
emphasise the fact that men are susceptible to mind- 
cure as well as women. Dr. Hack Tuke, in analys- 
ing the cases mentioned in his book, found that, in 
those where the sex was stated, 64 per cent were 
males, and 36 per cent females; and although he 
considered that the number of women might have 
exceeded that of the men, but for the fact that doc- 
tors would be more likely to notice and report the 
male cases, he concludes that " men are highly sus- 
ceptible to mental impressions, and that, therefore, 
psycho-therapeutics are available for them as well as 
for women. It is not, as is so often intimated, only 
hysterical young ladies who come under the in- 
fluence of this agency." 2 

We may go a step farther and say that no medical 
authority would now deny the existence of spiritual 
healing. Of course, if a doctor believes neither in 
God nor the soul, he would not attribute the cause 
to the spiritual realm; but he would not deny the 
fact, he would only refer it to mental causes in- 

1 See p. 33. 

3 D. Hack Tuke, Illustrations of the Influence of the Mind 
upon the Body. Appendix to 2nd ed,, 1884, II, pp, 299-301. 
This is borne out by later writers : the difference between the 
sexes according to JLiebeault is less than one per cent. 


deed, this is what men like Charcot, Janet, Richet, 
Pitres, and the rest have for years been doing. 
They accepted the fact, but they endeavoured to 
attribute it to natural causes on the lower plane; 
this was their way with everything Janet defined 
love as a form of mental disease, while Lombroso 
became famous even outside scientific circles by con- 
necting genius with insanity. I shall speak about 
the religious element in mind-cure later on: mean- 
while I for my part do not deny that religious 
healing is mental I only deny the denial that it is 
anything more ; and with this reservation I gladly 
accept the high testimony from the agnostic point of 
view of Dr. Maurice de Fleury in a book crowned 
both by the Academie Frangaise, the Academic des 
Sciences, and the Academie de Medecine 1 and 
deservedly, since it has the distinction (less rare in 
France than in England) of being both science and 

"La foi qui guerit n'est que suggestion: qu'irnporte, 
puisqu'elle guerit. II n'est pas un de nous qui n'ait en- 
voye quelque malade a Lourdes et souhaite qu'elle en 
revienne bien portante." 

In France, then, where they have in their midst 
the largest centre of religious healing in the world, 
it is possible for a doctor to claim that there are no 
doctors who have not made use of it. 

Here then is a common territory. Here is a cer- 
tain area as to which there is no dispute. The pos- 
sibility of religious healing is accepted by medical 
scientists, though naturally when they are un- 

1 La Mtdedne de l f Esprit. 7th Edition, 1905, p. 55. 


believers they would interpret it according to their 
own categories, and call it mental quite a good 
word which nobody need be afraid of. 

Limitations in Mind-cure 

The medical scientists would, of course, make 
strong limitations. 

In the first place, those of them especially who are 
agnostics, lay great stress on the fact that all thera- 
peutic miracles, being in their view mental, follow 
strictly the laws of nature and that nothing ever 
happens against those laws. One has never read, 
says Charcot, 1 in the accounts of miraculous heal- 
ing that an amputated limb has grown again ; and 
Anatole France, in the Jardin d 3 Epicure, expresses 
the same thought in a more picturesque way, 2 
while Fleury 3 points out that though a paralysis 
may be cured instantaneously at Lourdes the mus- 
cular atrophy takes some days to disappear. 

Now, however much we may believe that such 
cures are due to spiritual forces, we may be sure that 
spiritual forces act through the mind, and we should 
not for a moment deny that they act naturally. 
That is, as I have elsewhere pointed out, the whole 
Christian philosophy of miracle; we require and we 
assert the principle that God acts through his own 

1 La Foi qui guerit, 1897, p, 5, 

2 "Jusqu'ici les sepultures des saints, les fontaines et les 
grottes sacrees n'ont jamais agi que sur les malades attentes 
d'affectipns ou curables 9U susceptibles de remission in- 
stantanee. . , . Le miracle n'entreprend rien centre la 
me"canique celeste/' Jardin d'Epicure, 1895, pp. 206-7. 

*La Mededne de I' Esprit, 1905, pp. 54-5. 


laws; and if we read that an amputated limb had 
grown again we should at once discredit the whole 
source from which such a story had come. Charcot 
bears a high, unconscious testimony to the accuracy 
and good faith of ancient records of miraculous 
healing when he ppints out that they do not contain 
such occurrences. : We know that grace can assist 
the underrnind to succeed where otherwise it would 
have failed ; but it cannot turn a man into an apple- 
tree or a cactus, it cannot act against the laws of 
nature, for the whole purpose of grace is to bring 
man into conformity with the whole law of God.) 

Thus all scientists, including the most religious, 
would make, and rightly make, the further limita- 
tion that only some bodily ills are curable by mental 
or spiritual means. And the most fanatical faith- 
healer would not deny this. He would admit, for 
instance, Charcot's contention that a man cannot by 
that faith grow a new leg any more than he can 
add one cubit to his stature. This is impossible be- 
cause it is against the laws whereby God causes us 
to be men : if we were lobsters, the feat would be too 
common to excite remark. But we are not: we 
have proceeded on other and higher lines of evolu- 
tion; and if grace enabled us to act in this crusta- 
ceous manner, it would distort and degrade the 
laws of our humanity. Better far to hop about on 
crutches than to have the soul of a crab. 

In the same way the extremest believer in faim- 
.lealing would admit that mind can neither replace 
a decayed tooth nor successfully fill the cavity; and 
I am told that those sects which are most scornful 
about material therapeutics make a wise and com- 


fortable exception in favour of the dentist. This is 
because we are not rodents. The mind can indeed 
do much, and Shakespeare was surely wrong when 
he said there never was yet philosopher who could 
endure the toothache patiently, for a man ^ with 
strong mental power might be able to inhibit the 
p a i n which, after all, is in the brain and not in 
the tooth; but no man can compete with a mouse 
in the manufacture of dentine, 

Here then we have a satisfactory area about which 
there is no dispute. The most materialistic physi- 
cian admits that there are certain diseases which 
mind can cure, and that mind has a large share in 
the cure of all diseases ; on the other hand the most 
extreme faith-healer cannot but agree with the doc- 
tor when he says that faith will not cure every- 
thing. The two circles overlap. 

It would be unphilosophical for us to take sides, 
since there is no principle to deny, and all that lies 
in dispute is where the limits are to be fixed 
which is a matter that experience and not our pre- 
dilections will determine. Our business is to try the 
spirits, not to refuse experiment nor to shut our eyes 
to results, but to avoid controversy as much as pos- 
sible and with fair minds, and friendly hearts, 
to enlarge the area of agreement and to seek after 
the truth. 


Many remarkable results have been achieved 
through the medium of hypnotism, and the experi- 
mental value at least of this strange form of sleep 
has been immense ; but none the less one practitioner 


after another has found that hypnotism Is in many 
cases unnecessary and that the most successful cura- 
tive suggestions can be made without it. There is 
no need then for us to discuss hypnotism as a dis- 
tinct subject in this book, though we naturally have 
often to refer to it 1 Only here, once and for all, 
let us dismiss from our minds the popular delusion 
that there is something uncanny., or illicit, or charla- 
tanish about hypnotism. We need to speak strongly 
about this in England, where even the doctors are 
afraid of the popular prejudice; and in America, 
also, it would seem, " the average man conceives of 
hypnotism as a diabolical power possessed by a few 
favoured individuals, by means of which they can 
do anything they please with any other individual 
who is unfortunate enough to come within their in- 
fluence." 2 

All this, of course, is absolute nonsense. Hyp- 
nosis is only a condition of sleep it is supposed to 
be that intermediate stage between sleeping and 
waking which we all pass through every night 
induced by suggestion 3 and fixed for a certain 

best and most recent English book on the subject is 
Dr. J, Milne Bramwell, Hypnotism, 1906. The standard Ger- 
man works are: A. Moll, Der Hypnotismus, Berlin, 1889; 
A. Forel, Der Hypnotismus, seine Bedeutung und seine Hand" 
habung, Stuttgart (Enke), 1891; L. Lowenfeld, Der Hypnp- 
twmus, Wiesbaden (Bergmann), 1901; Hirschlaff, Hypnotis- 
mus und Suggestio-therapie, Leipsig (Earth) ; H. Bernheim,, 
Die Suggestion. The two first have both been translated by 
H. W. Arnit, as Moll, Hypnotism, 1890, and Forel, Hypno- 
tism and Psychotherapy, 1906. Bernheim has been translated 
as Suggestive Therapeutics by Dr. C. A. Hertie of New York,. 

2 American Journal of Psychology, X, 3, p. 478. 

8 The means employed to help this suggestion are as varied 
and as indifferent as they are in faith-healing. 


time. The hypnotist has no power which the sub- 
ject does not give him, and the subject will always 
resist suggestions that are against his moral nature: 
thus a drunkard could be encouraged to drink by 
hypnotic suggestion, but a sober man could not be 
made a drunkard. On the other hand, since even 
the worst of us have some remaining substratum of 
goodness profound and cheering truth! the 
most depraved patients are often morally restored 
by a wise hypnotist. There is thus no serious moral 
danger; the connection of hypnotism with crime has 
been carefully investigated during the last twenty 
years, and always with a negative .result. 1 O 
course there is a certain amount of danger in the use 
of any power, because any power may be misused ; 
but the danger is really less with hypnotism than 
with surgery or drugs; while hypnotism has the 
power not only of curing disease, and of enabling 
operations to be made without anaesthetics, but also 
of removing morbid cravings, manias, and phobies, 
or moral evils such as jealousy, impurity, weakness 
of will, or bad habits. The patient's moral nature 
awakens, and so far from being the slave of the 
hypnotist, he becomes more independent, as he 
grows free from the need of outside assistance. 
The same thing is true of suggestions made in 

*Dr. Liegois experimented with Dr. Liebeault's patients, 
and afterwards in 1884 published a memoir, and in 1889 a 
book, De la Suggestion . . . dans ses rapports cmec le 
Droit . . . criminel: cf. A. Von Bentivegni, Die Hyp- 
nose und ihre ciyilrechtliche Bedeutung, 1890; G. de la Tou- 
rette, U Hypnotisms et Us etats analogues au point de vue 
medico-legal; Von Lilienthal, Hypnotism in its Relation to 
Jurisprudence (Journal of Collective Legal Science, 1887) ; 
and the chapter on "The Legal Aspects of Hypnotism" in 
Moll's Hypnotism. 


ordinary sleep to children : it would be possible for 
a scoundrel to make bad suggestions, though perhaps 
with little result; but the same danger lies 'in all 
education, and in the influence also upon the child of 
its normal environment, which indeed is potent in 
suggestion, so that, for instance, much of the in- 
grained feeling of honour which is popularly asso- 
ciated with " blood " and heredity, is really due to 
the suggestions always filtering unconsciously into 
the child's mind. Suggestions can be made easily 
to a child during natural sleep, simply because it 
does not wake up as an adult would probably do, 
not because there is any radical difference between 
this and hypnotic suggestion. And children may 
often be cured of bad habits or vices by whispered 
words when they are asleep, and strengthened also 
with good thoughts. How much of the so often 
noticed excellence in the sons of a good mother has 
been due to her care of them when they slept and 
to the suggestions, uttered and unuttered, which 
they received in their waking hours ! 



JUST at present there is a very general tendency in 
medical circles to admit frankly the possibility of 
mind-cure but at the same time to limit it stiffly 
within the area of functional nerve diseases. 1 This 
offers so easy a truce, and is so convenient an answer 
to therapeutic innovators, that it is necessary to 
point out its dangers; for most certainly it is not 
here that the limits will be found. 

It is, indeed, a great step forward when so much 
as this is universally admitted. Neurasthenia, hys- 
teria, and all the rest of that terrible neurotic tribe, 
can, as every doctor now readily agrees, be cured by 
religion, or by hypnotism, or by simpler forms of 

How great, then, is the scope where, beyond all 
controversy, the minister of religion, or the secular 
mind-healer can achieve triumphant success ! What 
a wide admission is here, and how little has it been 
realised in this country ! Our English doctors com- 
plain much of the existence of quacks; but is not 
their existence due largely to the fact that in Eng- 
land we are so far behind in mental therapeutics? 
France has its long-established hospitals of Nancy 
and La Salpetriere ; Germany, too, has its hospitals, 

1 Organic diseases of the nerves are mentioned on p. 107. 


and professors, and journals; Switzerland gives us 
Professor Dubois, whose Psychonenroses is a text- 
book of the subject; Italy provides a professor's 
chair of psychiatry. Yet in England there has been 
hardly any practice of psycho-therapeutics, and it 
still requires much courage for a doctor openly to 
use hypnotism. 

Functional nerve diseases if religion can cure 
these, how urgent is the call upon religion ! How 
wide and how ever-increasing is the area of human 
suffering which requires the help of those who can 
minister to a mind diseased. If the power of reli- 
gion can touch no other bodily miseries but these, 
how cruel a blunder would it be to exclude that 
power from the realm of therapeutics ! 

So much for the affirmation which is now univer- 
sally made even in materialistic circles. But when 
we come to the accompanying denial, it is different. 
People are generally right in what they affirm and 
wrong in what they deny. And surely the denial 
that mind or faith can cure any except neurotic dis- 
eases is a case in point. It would be a serious 
mistake if the Church were to seek to win the ap- 
proval of materialistic scientists by setting the 
powers of religion at their low valuation : to them 
religious faith must be a delusion, useful only in 
counteracting other delusions which are pathologi- 
cal. But a faith that is dragged at the chariot 
wheels of materialism would become too poor a 
thing to be worth possessing. To accept the valua- 
tion of a rapidly-changing science would be to deny 
the facts of Christian experience, and to tarnish the 
records of Christian history; to tie theology to the 


scientific notions of the hour would indeed be to 
repeat a mistake which has been too often made in 
the past: for in truth when religion has been op- 
posed to an advance in science it has been so only 
because it had already committed itself to some 
earlier scientific theory, such as those which pre- 
ceded the discoveries of Galileo, of Newton, and of 
Darwin. Theology is itself a science whose busi- 
ness is to lead, not follow; and one of the conclu- 
sions of theology is that faith can cure diseases that 
are not functional within those limits of God's nat- 
ural laws of which we have already spoken. 

If this be true, the neurotic theory of faith-healing 
is unscientific, because it is" inadequate to the facts. 
Let us state the case. 

The Gospels contain abundant instances of heal- 
ing, and of these very few can be classed as cases 
of functional nerve disease. The attempt of some, 
liberal theologians to explain our Lord's cures on 
the neurotic basis is simply due to their ignorance 
of medical facts. 1 Even such diseases as genuine 
paralysis and epilepsy, often popularly supposed to 
be functional, are really structural diseases ; and the 
rare hysterical forms of such a disease as paralysis 
or blindness could not have been the subject of that 
continuous and habitual activity of Christ which 
had no failures, for if he had been only able to cure 
neurotics, he would have failed in most instances. 
There remain the difficult cases of demoniac posses- 
sion, which many would class as hysteria, deafness 
and dumbness, and such pronounced organic dis- 

1 This has been well shown by Dr. R. J. Ryle in the Hib~ 
bert Journal for April, 1907 (Vol. V, 3, p. 572). 


eases as fever, leprosy, a withered hand, and an is- 
sue of blood of twelve years' duration. 1 

Our Lord commissioned his disciples to carry on 
this healing work. In the Acts of the Apostles we 
read that they did so; and again they healed an 
abundance of diseases which could not possibly have 
been neurotic. It is confessedly impossible to dis- 
entangle this great body of healing cases from the 
records either of the Gospels or the Acts by any 
method of the higher criticism: they stand or fall 
with the documents as a whole, and it is becoming 
ever more difficult in the light of modern research 
to impugn the trustworthiness of the main history 
which the Gospels and the Acts relate. 

In the records of later Christian history, we find 
the same entire absence of any distinction between 
neurotic and other diseases. It is true that there 
are many legends in Christian as in other history, 
and many inaccurate chroniclers, but if we apply tc 
Christian history the same canons of evidence as an 
required in other departments of historical science 
we find abundant records, based upon the best con- 
temporary evidence, of organic disease being curec 
by religious means. 2 And we find this evidence con- 
tinued in modern instances. 3 

Theology, like other sciences, may make mistakes 
and must develop and grow ; but here is something 

diseases specified by St. Mark are: (i) Uncleat 
spirit, (2) Fever, (5) leprosy, (6) paralysis, (7) witherec 
hand, (n) issue of blood, (14) demoniac possession, (15' 
deafness and dumbness, (16) blindness, (17) lunatic child 
dumb, (18) blindness. The numbers refer to the tables 01 
pp. 143-4, 150-3. 

2 See Part III of this Book. 

8 See Appendix II, pp. 401, seq. 


too closely interwoven with Christian experience, it 
would seem, to be shaken. Nor does present-day 
experience seem likely to shake it. The claims 
made by hundreds of thousands in the various faith- 
healing sects, and by many also in our own Church, 
have a very unequal scientific value, because so often 
they are not carefully recorded; but no one who, like 
Mr. H. H. Goddard, has investigated the cures, 
doubts that a large number of them are genuine, 
and most of us nowadays have personal knowledge 
of individual cases ; and in all this mass of varied 
evidence strong in its cumulative value no 
distinction as to curability between nervous and 
other diseases emerges. 1 At Lourdes we have bet- 
ter evidence, it is not all we could desire, and we 
hope in the future that better evidence still may 
somewhere be collected; but it is something to go 
upon; it has been continuously investigated by medi- 
cal men; 2 we can hardly deny its general results 
without denying also most of the evidence upon 
which medical science rests, and in these Lourdes 
cases we.find functional nerve diseases in a minority, 
and pulmonary tuberculosis leading the way with 
262 cures. 3 

The only way of escape from such evidence as 
this is to say that all the organic diseases were 
caused by hysteria. I should be the last to deny 
that many of them were; but to set everything down 

* See e.g., Mr. H. H. Goddard's article on " The Effects of 
Mind on Body, as evidenced by Faith Cures/' The American 
Journal of Psychology, Apr., 1899, and Professor Bernheim, 
Die Suggestion (Suggestion in Therapeutics). Some of these 
particulars are given in the Appendix, pp. 401-10. 

2 See p. 323, and Appendix, p. 410. 

* See p. 413. 


to hysteria is to prove too much. Again, the whole 
basis of pathology is shattered by this process, and 
we reach the position in which any and every dis- 
ease may be attributed to hysteria, and all other de- 
partments of medical evidence are thrown into an 
equal confusion. It is surely simpler to say what 
is undoubtedly true, namely, that all disease is due, 
or partly due, to mind; and that what mind can 
cause mind can cure. 

Hysteria is an inadequate hypothesis, because 
hysteria is a disturbed condition of the mind, and 
most people's minds are not so disturbed. But 
hysteria is interesting because it shows, as we have 
already mentioned, 1 that an abnormal condition of 
mind can cause strange results in the body : it proves 
conclusively that the distinction between functional 
and organic convenient though it may be for 
rough classification is unscientific, because it cor- 
responds to no real distinction in the body. Every 
organic disease has some functional cause, and every 
functional disease has some organic result one 
cannot indeed think a momentary thought without 
a certain amount of molecular change in the tissues ; 
and we find sometimes the most remarkable organic 
disease, in the technical sense, as the result of such 
an extremely functional and subtly nervous disturb- 
ance as hysteria. 

Such an example is the case of '* la demoiselle 
Coirin" whose cure was one of the famous miracles 

ie.g., in stigmatisation, p. 32; or in a form of paralysis 
caused by the "switching off" of normal control, or hysteri- 
cal swellings, or the painful symptoms of peritonitis, which 
may be caused hy the exaggeration of normal sensation and 
subsequent self-suggestion. 


of Blessed Frangois de Paris. 1 In 1716 this lady, 
then aged 31, fell from her horse; paralysis and an 
ulcer followed; by 1719 the ulcer was in a horrible 
condition; in 1720 her mother refused an operation 
preferring to let her die in peace. In 1731 after 
fifteen years of an open breast she asked a 
woman to say a novena at the tomb of Frangois de 
Paris, to touch the tomb with her shift, and to bring 
back some earth. This was done on August loth; 
on the nth she put on the shift and at once felt im- 
proved; on the 1 2th she touched the wound with the 
earth and it at once began to heal By the end of 
August the skin was completely healed up ? and on 
September 24th, she went out of doors. Charcot 2 
considers that the "cancer/' as it was no doubt 
wrongly called, was due to hysteria, and has no 
difficulty in accepting all the facts of the disease and 
its cure on this basis : the breast healed almost at 
once, and recovered its natural size " What won- 
der," he says, " since we know how rapidly troubles 
of the circulation can appear and disappear ? " 

Troubles of the circulation! A breast built tip 
again after fifteen years ! But we are here in the 
very heart of the organic region ! Where shall we 
draw this line, which is so often taken for granted, 
between functional and organic, between nervous 
and other diseases? 3 Where, indeed, shall we say 

1 Carre de Montgeron, La verite des miracles op ergs ci 
intercession de M. de Paris et autres appellans, demontrge 
contre M. I'Archeveque de Sens, 1737. Tome I, Demonstra- 
tion, vii. 

2 La Foi qui guerit, 1897, p. 30. 

3 Many diseases once thought to be organic are now 
known to be functional. Some indeed think that even can-* 
cer is functional, though the trend of medical opinion seems 


that the influence of mind is absent either in the 
cause or the cure of disease? It is easy to belittle 
a miracle by saying that it merely cured a trouble 
of the circulation; but merciful heaven! if we 
can by religious influence train the vaso-motor sys- 
tem, where is the tissue that we cannot touch ? 

The plea, then, so commonly urged just now, that 
faith-healing and mind-cure are only possible in 
functional neuroses is unscientific, because there is 
no such distinction in fact between functional and 
organic; since functional diseases, have organic re- 
sults, and organic diseases have functional causes, 
and all diseases are to some extent both functional 
and organic. It is true that some organic losses 
cannot be supplied by the mind : not only can a miss- 
ing finger not be restored, but (so far as our present 
knowledge goes) a ruptured or decayed neuron can- 
not be built up again, 1 and the restoration of nerve 
fibres is as much beyond the laws of our being as 
the restoration of a limb, though indeed other nerve 
fibres can sometimes take up the work. If this be 
true, then such organic nervous disease is indeed 
incurable by mind, but then it is equally incurable 
by any other method. 2 The fundamental logical 
distinction is thus not between functional and or- 
ganic, but between those diseases (both functional 

to be against this theory at present We certainly have not 
reached finality in these matters. 

1 Even this assumption, till recently so confidently made, is 
now being denied in some quarters, and may, perhaps, prove to 
be unfounded. 

2 The assumption that organic nervous disease is incurable 
may well prove to be untrue. We really know but little as 
yet about the matter, Professor Bernheim includes ^ organic 
diseases of the nerves among his cures. See Appendix II, p. 


and organic) which are curable and those diseases 
which are incurable, which are in fact beyond the 
laws of our nature as at present known. And these 
incurable diseases are becoming fewer everyday. 

That plea is further unscientific because it ignores 
the evidence of physiology as to the nervous organ- 
ism. To say that the mind can affect the nerves but 
cannot affect the body is like saying that a horse can 
draw its traces but cannot draw the cart which the 
traces unite to it. /The traces exist precisely in or- 
der that the horse may exert an influence upon the 
cart, and the nerves exist precisely in order that the 
mind may exert an influence upon ike body. They 
are, in fact, the link between the mind, both con- 
scious and subconscious, and the body. They are* 
the mysterious means by which spirit acts upon\ 
matter. ] 

* As we have already seen, the nervous system itself 
shows, now that the ramifications of the nerves have 
been traced, that mind must influence every part of 
the body except a few tissues, such as the nails. 1 I 
need only summarise the matter in words more 
weighty than any I could frame. In his inaugural 
address to the Royal Medical Society in 1896 Dr, 
Clouston said 

" I would desire this evening to lay down and to en- 
force a principle that is, I think, not sufficiently, and 
often not at all, considered in practical medicine and 
surgery. It is founded on a physiological basis, and it 
is of the highest practical importance. The principle is 
that the brain cortex, and especially the mental cortex, 
has such a position in the economy that it has to be 
reckoned with more or less as a factor for good or evil 

1 Even the hair may be turned white by mental shock 


in all diseases o every organ, in all operations and in 
all injuries. Physiologically the cortex is the great reg- 
ulator of all functions, the ever active controller of every 
organ and the ultimate court of appeal in every organic 
disturbance." 1 

This being the fundamental fact of our physical 
life, it is no wonder that, whatever his theories, no 
doctor in practice draws that distinction between 
nervous and other diseases. The doctor knows the 
value of a cheerful and hopeful temperament in his 
patients, " for the healing as well as for the preven- 
tion of diseases," 2 he knows how much depends 
upon their faith in him and his remedies. He 
knows that a despairing patient may succumb, when 
a resolute one can pull round, however organic the 
disease. He will rightly take every precaution in 
an epidemic; yet he knows that nothing renders a 
man more accessible to the successful incursions of 
microbes than a state of panic fear and the great 
majority of organic diseases are caused precisely by 
such parasitic invasion. 

For the mind, the whole mind let me repeat it 
in the condensed language of another high authority 
causes changes in all the functions of the body, 
and the functions cause changes in the tissues 

" The mind or brain influences excites, perverts, or 
depresses the sensory, motor, vaso-motor, and trophic 
nerves, and through them causes changes in Sensation, 
Muscular Contraction, Nutrition, and Secretion/' z 

i" Address on Mental and Nervous Development In Dis- 
ease," by Professor T. S. Clouston to the Royal Medical So- 
ciety, Edinburgh, British Medical Journal, Jan. i8th, 1896. 

Clouston, Ibid. 

8 D. Hack Tuke, The Influence of the Mind on the Body, 
1884, Vol. I, p. 2. 


In homelier language, the mind can alter the 
nerves either way : as it can cause them to do their 
work badly, so it can cause them to do it better. That 
which applies to disease applies also to health and to 

For some reason the bearing of this is more ^read- 
ily recognised in disease than in its cure. It is, in- 
deed, a commonplace that the mind can produce the 
most serious organic diseases, just as it can admit 
others by the failure to resist parasitic invasion. 
The mental force that can causer coloured water ^ to 
act as an emetic, or endow bread-pills with curative 
qualities can also produce organic diseases of the 
most serious kind. 

Few indeed are the ailments as to which the influ- 
ence of mental cause is not recognised. The great 
majority of diseases are parasitic, and the prophy- 
lactic value of the mental condition is here every- 
where recognised ; it is, indeed, one of the main rea- 
sons why doctors and nurses are so remarkably 
immune. As for other diseases, cancer (which is 
not as yet recognised as parasitic) is known 'to be 
often preceded, and probably prepared for, by worry 
or shock; and no one denies the importance of j 
thought in heart affections, or its influence on the 
stomach, or that some states of mind quicken the 
circulation while others make it sluggish: indeed, 
there are few that cannot be brought under the fol- 
lowing list, especially in the sentence I have itali- 
cised. I quote it at length because it is from the pen 
of one who is not only a high medical authority, but 
also a very pronounced materialist, Professor Forel, 
of Zurich. 


" Through the brain and spinal cord thoughts can lead 
to a paralysing or stimulation of the sympathetic ganglion 
nodes, and consequently to blushing or blanching of cer- 
tain peripheral parts. Through disturbances of this 
mechanism many nervous disorders arise, such as chil- 
blains, sweats, bleeding of the nose, chills, and conges- 
tions, various disturbances of the reproductive organs, 
and, if it lasts long enough, nutritional disturbances in 
the part of the body supplied by the blood-vessels affected. 
In the same way there are peripheral ganglionic mechan- 
isms which superintend glandular secretion, the action of 
the intestinal muscles, etc. These likewise can be influ- 
enced through the brain by ideas and emotions. Thus 
we can explain how constipation and a vast number of 
other disturbances of digestion and of menstruation can 
be produced through the brain, without having their 
cause in the place in which they appear. It is for the 
same reason that such disturbances can be cured by 
hypnotic suggestion." 1 

Here, then, we reach a further stage. What can 
be produced by thought, " for the same reason " 
can be cured by suggestion and not only, we may 
add, by that form of suggestion which is given 
under hypnotism. 

Thus more and more it is becoming recognised 
that what mind can cause, mind can cure. There is 
no restriction to things neurotic in the production 
of disease by the mind, and neither is there any such 
restriction in the removal of disease by the mind: 
" in all diseases of every organ " the mind has to be 
reckoned with. In all recovery there is a mental 
element; in most recoveries there is nothing else, 
since, after all, medical help is only sought in a 
minority of ailments ; and even in those cures where 

1 August Forel, Hygiene der Nerven und des Geistes im 
Gesunden und Kranken Zustande, Zurich, 2nd ed., 1905. 
(English trans, by Dr, A. Aikins, 1907, p. 160. 


the mind has the smallest part, as for instance when 
a poison in the blood is neutralised by hypodermic 
injections, the very act of circulation, without which 
the injections would be useless, is due to the under- 
mind, is controlled by the vaso-motor nerves, and is 
influenced by the mind as a whole, and this is true 
also of the consequent restoration of the body to 
normal conditions. 

Throughout the remaining- parts of this book will 
be found historical cases of the cure of organic dis- 
eases. In the Appendix 1 will be found modern 
instances from Goddard and-Bernheim, and the re- 
sults of the medical reports at Lourdes. An older 
list has been given by Dr. Hack Tuke of cases col- 
lected by himself, as to which he says that the dis- 
eases most frequently benefited by mental means 
" were undoubtedly rheumatism, gout, and dropsy/' 
though he considers that " if all the cases of hys- 
terical neuralgia and contraction of joints were 
reported, those which are called merely nervous 
affections of the body would take priority." He 

"The only inference which we are justified in draw- 
ing from these figures is that the beneficial influence of 
Psychotherapeutics is by no means confined to nervous 
disorders/' 2 

No doubt some people will continue to assert that 
there are no cases of the mind-cure of organic dis- 
eases, and that all such cases have been wrongly 
diagnosed. But these assertions are least made by 

1 See p. 402, seq. 

2 D. Hack Tuke, The Influence of the Mind on the Body, 
1884, II, P. 301. 


those who have most studied the evidence. We 
may then safely declare that there is no prima facie 
impossibility about the healing of any curable dis- 
ease by mental or spiritual means. Always remem- 
bering 1 our lobster, we must insert the word 
" curable/' because disease may wreak a physical 
destruction that is beyond any known powers of 
restoration. 1 Also we gratefully maintain the 
value of material assistance : in some cases, as in the 
removal of a stone imbedded in some internal tissue, i 
material help alone will often be effective; in other 
cases, as in the mending of a fractured bone, 
though the actual process is mental, because due to 
the co-operation of the undermind, 2 physical as- 
sistance is of the utmost use in setting the limb, so 
that the fracture 'may be free from disturbance; in 
yet other cases mental power may cure when the 
disease has proved incurable by any other means. 
We must not be surprised to find strange results in 
this sphere, since the power employed is little un- 
derstood and little studied, and we have no ade- 
quate means of fixing its limitations. 

We cannot restrict the curative power of mind to 
this or that form of injury or disease. All that we 
can really say is that it is a matter of relative 
strength. If the ill is stronger than the mental in- 
fluence arrayed against it, then it is incurable unless 
physical means are brought to the patient's succour, 
or it may, of course, be incurable altogether. Still, 

1 See p. 95. I say ** curable," not merely *' functional.'* 

2 See pp. 66, 70, The process is like building up a hole ini 
the wall : the work of the undermind consists in despatching; 
the necessary materials to the fracture. The "vital energy'* 
of the cells builds them in. 


by strengthening the mental power the balance may 
be redressed, and the patient will then overcome the 
disease. Now many people have found that this 
inward force is so stimulated by the removal of all 
other means that they have given up medical aid 
often with remarkable success. Their action is 
unwise and may be immoral, however much excuse 
may be found for it in the stupid materialism of a 
few doctors, and it has caused many disasters; the 
saints of the Church were more respectful even to 
the inadequate science df their day. 1 But the 
remedy is that both sides should lay aside their 
prejudices, and that those who value mind-cure 
should feel their faith to be not weakened but 
strengthened when they call in the physician for his 
skilled diagnosis and wise advice. When they find 
that the highest therapeutic powers of all, religion 
and mind, are ignored or openly despised, they will 
be tempted to refuse altogether the support of 
natural science. 

The relative success or failure of such powers is a 
matter of degree; few medical authorities now 
doubt that they will hold an ever-enlarging place in 
the therapeutics of the future. Strengthen the spirit- 
ual power of man, and we shall have more control 
over his physical organs; reduce it, and we shall 
have less. We made but little use of it in the last 
century, and consequently we are but little trained 
in these higher ways. When we are more truly 
scientific and recognise better the unity of man, we 
;shall also be more truly religious. Man, who 
Jhas lived so much in servitude to the lower centres, 

1 See e.g., pp. 370-1. 


will have more inward control than now ; and those 
whose business it is to heal him will participate with 
him in a spiritual mastery that will perhaps cause 
posterity to smile at our present subjection to the 
vagaries of the physical organism. 

All things are not possible to the average man in 
an age when his mind is set on the vulgar ambitions 
of material desires, his inward vision distorted by a 
false perspective, and the very foundations of his 
being thus weakened for the high mastery of spirit- 
ual response. But, even now, more is possible to the 
strong than to the weak, more to the wise than to 
the unbalanced, more to the man of joy and peace, 
than to the fearful and unbelieving, more much 
more to the saint than to the sinner. 



Miracle: Mental and Spiritual: The Unzvorthiness 
of the Minister: The Source of Life: Growth 
of Spiritual Capacity: Sttggcstion: 
Faith and Grace 

THE health of the body is, we have said, immedi- 
ately due to that subliminal part of the mind which 
we ought to call the " soul," in the exact language 
o the New Testament, only that our loose use of 
the word has spoilt its meaning. So we call the 
soul the subliminal self or undermind, though we 
have to remember that much of this " spirit" the 
higher qualities of, man is also at any given 
time subconscious. 'The soul is greatly influenced 
by the spirit; in other words, the vital force, the 
working of the undermind, is influenced by the 
conscious mental condition. 

The normal way by which health is maintained 
or restored is through the agency of the nerves, 
which are thus the link between matter and spirit ; 
and the nerves bring health to the various parts of 
the body, mainly by creating, renovating through 
the oxygen in the lungs, distributing, and regulat- 
ing the supply of blood, which last is effected by the 
vaso-motor nerves contracting or dilating the small 
arteries. This action of the " soul " can be very 



materially assisted, as we have seen, by physical 
means, and also by means that are mental 

It can furthermore be assisted by spiritual means. 

Let us consider this statement 

When the undermind is successfully assisted by 
mental means the process is called mind-cure, 
though the most ordinary physical methods are also 
in a greater or less degree mental. 1 When the 
assistance is given by religion it is called faith- 
healing or spiritual healing, though a lower kind o 
faith is indeed a valuable factor in all therapeutics. 
When such healing is of a remarkable and excep- 
tional character people call it a miracle, and even 
religious folk are often mightily incredulous. 


Many, indeed, no longer call these things mir- 
acles. They need not: the language of the New 
Testament is on their side; for "miracle" has no 
equivalent in the reported sayings of our Lord. 
Miracles in the New Testament are simply 
"signs" 2 significant acts of one who, in the 
language of the Collect, declares his " almighty 
power most chiefly in showing mercy and pity " 
or ff poivers" 3 or they are " works " 4 in St. John's 
Gospel, where this is given as our Lord's favourite 
term for his miracles : Christ makes little distinction 
between his ordinary and his extraordinary works, 
and he uses the same word for the good and beau- 

See pp. 88-91. 


tiful acts of others. 1 The nearest word to " mir- 
acle/' Te/ww, a wonder or prodigy, he only uses 
once and then in disapproval of those who hun- 
gered for such things " Except ye see signs and 
wonders ye will not believe/' 

We shall return to the subject again in the Sec- 
ond Part of this book. Here it is only necessary 
to point out the naturalness of what we call miracle. 
In the New Testament is described the highest 
spiritual power that was ever exerted upon earth, 
and its success in the regeneration of both spirit 
and body. We can form our estimate of spiritual 
healing by that ; and we find that these " works " 
are regarded as natural and spontaneous manifesta- 
tions, that there is no craving after the "super- 
natural " (a word for which indeed, as for " mir- 
acle," there is no equivalent in the New Testament, 
nor for that matter in the Old either), that there 
is no distinction between spiritual and mental, but 
only a distinction between goodness and badness, 2 
between faith and unfaith, between strength and 

The therapeutic works, with which alone we are 
concerned here, described so simply and tmstrain- 
edly as works and signs and powers, were done, and 
have been done ever since. Men have denied them 
with dogmatic assurance, 3 Yet at the time when 

trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work 
%pyov on me," Mk. 14 a . 

2 The peculiar moral use of iwxitis is itself an example of 
this. See p. 50. 

3 " C'est parce qu'ils racontent des Miracles qite je dis, Les 
Evangiles sont des legendes." E. Kenan, Vic de Jisus, 
Preface to I3th edition, 1879, p. vi. 


that denial was most confidently made, ** miracles " 
were occurring in not inconsiderable number; but 
the learned were convinced that they could not 
happen, and were consequently blind to the fact that 
they did. 

Christendom bowed for a while before that 
strange and narrow dogmatism, and grew ashamed 
of her own history, which from the beginning till 
now has been rich in mighty works. But that 
denial was due to insufficient knowledge. We now 
know enough to see that these powers come also 
within the realm of law. They are not super- 
natural. Nothing Is, and nothing ever was. 

This is no new argument invented to meet the 
needs of modern philosophy. St. Augustine sum- 
med it up long ago in a perfect epigram " Porten- 
tuwi ergo fit non contra naturam, sed contra quam 
'est not a naturaf* a or, as we might render it, " Mir-' 
acles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary 
to what we know about nature/ 5 Faith has been 
feeble because tnen have * set their religion as a 
thing apart, suspended among shadows. But the 
great ages of faith are yet before us ; an era of un- 
exampled spiritual illumination and activity is 
dawning, because our faith is being regenerated in 

1 City of God, XXI, 8. The same thought is worked out by 
Augustine in C. Faust, XXIX, 2, and in XXVI, 3, and again 
in LVI, 3, which last is quoted in the Report of the Lambeth 
Conference, 1908, p. 73, and thus translated : " For it is this 
course of nature which is known to us and familiar that we 
call nature, and when God does anything contrary to this, 
such events are called marvels or miracles [magnalia vel 
mirabiiia]. But as for that supreme law of nature which 
escapes our knowledge because we are sinful or because we 
are still wealc, God no more acts against that than he acts 
against himself." 


reason, and we are learning again with a pro- 
founder confidence that the spiritual energy which 
was displayed in the life of Christ is about us now, 
working by the same laws, accomplishing the same 
miracles of conversion and of healing real as 
nothing else is real bestowing new life on body 
and soul; and we remember that as men can ap- 
proach towards the perfection of our Master in 
goodness, so can they in power. Miracles are be- 
coming natural to us, now that we know a little 
more about nature. 

. Mental and Spiritual 

We feel, therefore, that there is a class of 
health-giving powers which cannot well be called 
mental. The term is convenient because it is com- 
monly taken to include the psychic work of the 
possibly agnostic rnind-curer or even the hypnotist, 
and raises no religious points : it sounds humble and 
unassuming, and we may often use it for this 
reason. But we must be careful to remember that 
we do not even in its humblest use confine it to in- 
tellectual processes. It includes for us intellect, 
emotion, and will ; and we often use it as covering 
the emotions of mundane hope and faith. There 
is, however, a more fundamental aspect of man 
which we call spiritual : mind is indeed one of the 
sides of this ultimate spiritual being, but when we 
speak of man's spiritual nature and of the spiritual 
means by which he may be healed, we mean not 
only mental but also moral and religious powers. 
Faith, hope, and love exist on the mental plane (I 


may have faith, for instance, in the waters of Con- 
trexeville) ; faith, hope, and love are real and useful 
powers on this plane; but in the spiritual world they 
are something more they are the " three theolog- 
ical virtues/' 

All spiritual succour, therefore, the healing, 
converting, cleansing, inspiring of man by the 
power of religion, whether it be his body that is 
healed, or his soul, or his spirit is just the use of 
powers that are higher and stronger than those 
which are mental. Instead of faith in the doctor 
(or in addition to it) we have the theological vir- 
tue of faith in God. Instead of hope as a matter of 
temperament we have the theological virtue of hope 
as a triumphal quickening of the spirit. Instead of 
the natural love, which the Greeks called eras, in- 
stead even of that ethical virtue which is called 
Philadelphia, 1 we have that Love, for which the 
Church found the new name of agape, 2 as to which 
nothing higher could be said of God than that he is 
Love, and nothing higher of man's destiny than 
that he who dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God. 
So it is that when we speak of spiritual healing, 
whether of body, soul, or spirit, we mean that 
there is, in addition to the mental or psychic in- 
fluence of one person upon another, the pouring in 
of the "grace" of God through prayer or sacra- 
ments, through faith and silence and meditation, 

1 Among the Greeks this word did not attain the Christian 
meaning of love between all men because they are brothers, 
but meant no more than love between brethren in blood. 
Archbishop Trench, Synonyms, p. 42. 

2 '* "A7a7T77 is a word born within the bosom of revealed 
religion. It occurs in the LXX, but there is no example of 
its use in any heathen writer whatever/* Ibid., p. 41. 


through the charged atmosphere of common wor- 
ship, through human intercession and religious 

That is the difference between mental and spirit- 
ual. It is a difference, I think, of degree, and not 
of kind. For we cannot set up a barrier between 
what is secular and what is religious. Nor ought 
we to allow the word mental to be used as if the 
mind were some inferior form of the spirit, and 
mental gifts due to some lower source than God. 
One of the central lessons of Christianity is that 
religion is "Wisdom"; and that the intellectual 
gifts are the particular inspiration of the Holy 
Ghost Some people talk as if the inspiration of 
God was merely emotional, and as if there were 
something pious in being foolish. Yet the whole 
faith of the Church is based on the presence of 
the Holy Spirit whom Christ described as the 
" Pleader " a arguing, convincing, instructing, as 
the " Spirit of truth/ 9 2 who was to teach and 
remind, 3 to convince or convict. 4 The work of 
the Holy Spirit consists by the common consent 
of the Church in the dower of Seven Gifts, 
which are wise powers of the mind, enabling a 
"right judgment in all things" seven mental 
gifts in the intellect and will, as well as in the 
heart : Wisdom, to choose what is right ; Under- 
standing, to know how to carry it out ; Counsel, to 
think resolutely before we act; Strength, to act 
firmly when we have thought ; Knowledge, to pos- 

1 Jn. 14 16 . "Paraclete" (irap&Ktoiros) , literally one who is 
summoned to plead a cause, advocate. " Comforter " is an 
inexact translation here. 


sess truth; Godliness, to live in the love of God, and 
Reverence before his holiness and power. To be a 
good Christian is thus to have the splendid strength 
and judgment which we expect in a statesman and 
find in a saint. It is a sin to be silly ; and we can- 
not be spiritual without being mental also. 

All things come of God, and not least the dower 
of noble thought. All things indeed come of God, 
both high and humble, for spirit, soul, and body; 
all means of health and healing, spiritual, psychic, 
material, may be used under God and with his bless- 
ing. But mighty works may be done by spiritual 
means when all others have failed. 

The Unworthiness of the Minister- 

Much may be done on the psychic plane, and is 
done in ordinary medical practice. Nay, it is done 
also by the veriest quacks and impostors, who owe 
their existence to the fact that they do manage to 
have successes because they often get hold of the 
subconscious self when the methods of reputable 
men have failed. It may be done also by a " mental 
healer " who has some mental or psychic power, but 
who may for all that be without morals, science, or 
religion. For psychic research has shown beyond 
controversy that certain people have peculiar gifts, 
which may be, as Mesmer thought, due to a " fluid " 
that passes from the operator, or may be due to a 
special power of focusing the will, or may be due, 
as Myers considered, to some combination of both, 

It is remarkable that one of the sayings of out 
Lord takes it for granted that wicked people would 


have power to do mighty works, and even to do 
them in his name. Speaking* of those false proph- 
ets who bear evil fruit and refuse to do the will of 
the Father in heaven, he says 

" Many will say to me, in that day, Lord, Lord, did we 
not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out 
demons, and by thy name do many powers? And then 
will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from 
me, ye that work iniquity." 1 

Thus the greatest Healer in the world's history 
warns us that men may have great psychic powers 
without goodness, that quacks and unworthy per- 
sons may have success ; and that we are not to be- 
lieve a person to be a true prophet because he" 
happens to heal us. This is just what people are 
always forgetting: they argue that because some 
one has been changed and healed, therefore the 
healer must be a true prophet or prophetess, and 
that the healer's views about things in general must 
be true also. It does not in the least follow. 
Mental or spiritual healing has gone on in the 
temples of many religions, ancient and modern, in 
ancient Egypt and Greece, in India and in China, 2 
as well as in the Christian Church and in many 
Christian or non-Christian sects or heresies: it is 
practised by spiritists and by agnostics, by mes- 
merists and by hypnotists, by faith-healers and by 
mind-healers, by " Mental Science," " Christian 

t 7 22 - 23 , R, V. Marg. We have seen on p. 117 that 
"powers" and "works" are technical New Testament names 
for the miracles of healing. 

2 The curious in these matters will find some material in 
an old book, Ennemoser's History of Magic (1843), which 
was translated by W. Howitt in 1854, for Bonn's Scientific 
Series (Geo. Bell & Sons, new ed. 1893). 


Science/' and " Higher Thought/' by believers in 
relics and the apparition of Mary at Lourdes and 
by the simplest of Puritan sects Shakers, for 
instance, who would have been horrified at the idea 
of relics and shrines. They may all have got hold 
of a great truth; but they cannot all be entirely 
right; and it was in this very connection that our 
Lord warned us to " Beware of false prophets." 

Yet, though there may be unworthy, sordid, or 
mistaken people who produce genuine results by 
mental means, it does not at all follow that the 
power which they use is not spiritual. It was 
practical experience that led the Church to declare 
(in another connection) that the unworthiness of 
the minister hinders not the effect of the Sacrament ; 
and this may well be true also about the application 
of spiritual power to the bodies of men. Our fore- 
fathers did not disbelieve in magic, but they held 
that it was generally " black." 

To take a simple illustration a barrel may be 
full of very precious liquid, but it does not follow 
that only a very good person can turn the tap. It 
may be, as in the case of the sacraments, that cer- 
tain ministers are entrusted with the key ; and they 
are sometimes unworthy of their trust. Or it may 
be in the case of mental healing that the tap is- 
rather hard to turn, and a man goes with his cup 
and fails to move it, and someone else comes along 
who has stronger hands with perhaps no other 
qualification. He turns the tap, and the patient 
fills his cup and is happy. In some such way is 
spiritual power stored up, and a man may be helped 
by one who is less spiritual than himself. After 


all, this is what \ve clergy are always experiencing; 
people often come to us who are so much better than 
we as to make us ashamed of our unworthiness : yet 
we are able to help them because we are the minis- 
ters of holy things; and of the reality of the help 
there is no doubt whatever. 

"Ah!" the materialist may say (if he has fol- 
lowed me so far), "but you have gone into a ter- 
ritory where I refuse to follow you." Yes, that 
was my intention. I do not in this humble work 
propose to prove the truth of religion ; it is one of 
my postulates, and the truth of natural science is 
another. If natural science should change again, I 
shall have to rewrite this book; if religion should 
be disproved, I would burn it. 

The Source of Life 

To me there is only one explanation of all things, 
and that is God. In him we live and move and 
have our being: the Spirit of God is, as the Creed 
says, the Giver of Life, and our bodies are the 
temples of the Holy Ghost ; so that in truth 

Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands 
f and feet. 

The Self which is within man owes its existence 
to God, and its life is permanently from God, as the 
ray is from the sun and yet is immeasurably less 
than the sun. Therefore when the soul is revived, 
and recuperates a harmed body, it is revived by the 
power of God, however unworthy be the wills that 
have co-operated to bring it about And after all, 


who is worthy? St. Peter had no doubt at all that 
he could heal ; he had also no doubt that he was " a 
sinful man." 

Therefore all healing Is of God, whether the 
means employed be medicine or miracle. It is not 
the farmer who creates the corn, he merely aids the 
processes of " Nature," that is to say of God : in the 
same way, the doctor does certainly not create 
healthy tissue : he merely assists the inward soul to 
make full use of the Life which is of God, and thus 
to restore the body into closer conformity with 
God's laws. He can do nothing* without the co- 
operation of that which he may call the vis medica- 
trix natures; when that fails, as it does in the closing 
scenes of a fatal illness, he knows that all further 
efforts are useless, and that no treatment can be of 
any avail, because the power to respond is gone, 
the vis medicatrix can heal no longer. 

That vis medicatrix is but a form of words cover- 
ing the unknown. The psychologist, knowing a 
little more now, may call it an activity of the sub- 
liminal self. The theologian may say that it exists 
because it is of God who is the giver of life. To 
all it is a mystery. 

But the natural sciences would lead us to expect 
that the spiritual part of man should draw upon his 
environment, since it is by this process that his 
material body exists. The body is constantly tak- 
ing into itself the sustenance that is needed to supply 
its energy and to make good its losses : it would be 
difficult to conceive of the spirit existing without a 
similar absorption of energy from without Theo- 
logical science which is after all based upon the 


greatest of all experiments tells us that this ab- 
sorption of spiritual energy, or Grace, as it is 
technically called, is what in fact happens. By a 
life of prayer and good doing we live in the atmos- 
phere that our spirits need, just as our lungs drink 
in the oxygen which is absorbed in the constant 
passage of the venous blood : by the taking of the 
Sacrament our spirits have from week to week or 
from day to day their special food. So we come 
back to the sacramental principle at the heart of 
the Christian life. 

Frederick Myers, seeking demonstrable truth 
from the approaches of natural science, arrived just 
at this point, where religion has been all the 

"For if our individual spirits and organisms live by 
dint of this spiritual energy, underlying the chemical en- 
ergy by which organic change is carried on, then we must 
presumably renew and replenish the spiritual energy as 
continuously as the chemical. To keep our chemical en- 
ergy at work, we live in a warm environment, and from 
time to time take food. By analogy, in order to^ keep 
the spiritual energy at work, we should live in a spiritual 
environment, and possibly from time to time absorb some 
special influx of spiritual life." 1 

Thus we live in more than one world. Not only 
in a world of matter, in which the body appro- 
priates some fragment of the limitless and pre-exist- 
ent Power; but also, beyond dispute, we live in a 
more general world, the world of the ether which 
is an environment far subtler and more prpfound. 
We live also, Myers held (and every Theist at least 
must agree with him), in a still profounder and 

X F. W. H. Myers, Human Personality., 1904, Vol. I, p. 218. 


more generalised aspect of the Cosmos, to which 
he gave the name of metethereal that spiritual or 
transcendental world which lies beyond the ether,, 
and where the soul exists. 

The physical analogy is even closer if the most 
recent theories of nerve-force are true. For we are 
now told that the nerve-fibres are but the channels 
of energy, and the nerve-cells but the transformers 
of energy, that comes from without. 1 All nervous,, 
all cerebral energy, according to this principle as 
elaborated by Dr. Jules Cheron and Dr. Maurice de- 
Fleury, 2 being created by the excitation of the 
external world by tactile sensations, by the vi- 
brations of light and sound, by the other forces, heat,, 
air, electricity, and the rest which bear in upon us,, 
consciously and subconsciously, at every moment. 
This does not, as men are too apt to think, reduce, 
us to machines, unless the hero and the saint are 
also machines because they are inspired by the grace 
of God. 3 

And certainly, if it be true that there is a God 
and that man is a spiritual being^ if, in fact, them 
be such a thing as religion at all then the spiritual 
appeal to the whole man must be fuller and more 
comprehensive than that which is psychic. If faith 
in the doctor, and a hopeful disposition, are potent 
aids to recovery, then faith in God and religious 
hope must mean an added strength. If mental sug- 
gestion can do much, then prayer must be able to da 
more; if the mighty works of the hypnotist are 

1 W. McDougall, Physiological Psychology, 1905, pp. 28^-30, 

2 M. de Fleury, La Mededne de FBsprit, 1905, p. 250. 

s I have referred to this theory of the metethereal environ- 
ment already on p. 55. 


wonderful, then those of the saint, though rarer, 
may well be more wonderful still, since he makes a 
more direct and radical appeal to the whole man. 

Let me repeat : this does not mean that the mental 
and physical methods are not of God. The grain 
of wheat is of God, it lives because of God, and its 
constituent atoms of carbon, nitrogen, and the rest 
are atoms because of the energy which is the hand 
of God: in him all things subsist Only, spirit is 
above atoms; and love rules a higher kingdom 
than hypnotism. The good man may attain a sub- 
lime condition without chemistry, but the chemist 
cannot become much of a man without goodness. 
Both are fine and necessary things ; and the Chris- 
tian saints have been far removed from the false 
spirituality which refuses material aid; * but man is 
spirit, soul, and body; and to treat him as if he 
were body alone, or only body and soul, is at least 
to miss great opportunities. 

Growth of Spiritual Capacity 

What can be done by spiritual means is shown 
abundantly in the Gospel records, 2 and such 
mighty works have been often done since. 3 We 
have been told to look forward to even greater 
works than those recorded by the evangelists. 4 
And why? Surely because with every century of 
his development man becomes increasingly spiritual, 
and what our Lord did with the sick untutored 

1 See e.g., p. 355. 

2 See Chap. XIII. ' 

3 See Part III, and Appendix I, II, passim. 
* See p. 182. 


Syrians of the first century, a humble disciple may 
be able also to do with the better material of later 
ages. It is surely true that even now the organism 
of man is passing, and must continue to pass in- 
creasingly, tinder the control of his spirit. 

Every evolutionist believes that, as we are far 
above the man of neolithic time, so the race is de- 
veloping to a " superman " (to use the ugly modern 
word) who will be as far above us. Every Christian 
will agree with Myers that man's ancient instinct 
of trust in the unseen "has never as yet* (save in 
the very highest of our race), risen within measur- 
able distance of the actual provable truth/' and 
therefore, as man becomes more religious, his spirit 
will become increasingly supreme. Thus greater 
works will be done. Christianity is either a steady 
growth of spiritual energy through the ages, or it 
is a delusion. If it can only look back regretfully 
at supposed " ages of faith," and confess its present 
impotence, it is not the religion of God the Creator. 
It has either gone forward, or it has died; and 
nothing is more impossible to our minds to-day 
than the familiar Protestant notion that miracles 
suddenly stopped at the end of the period covered by 
the Bible, and that later wonders are superstition. 
Only the language of parody can adequately echo 
the idea in the parallel statement that 

Art stopped short in the cultivated Court of the Empress 

As a matter of fact every historian is insistent 
with us that the first Christians were less developed 
than the later, and that the " ages of faith " were 


less moral and less religious than the age in which 
we live. There has been continued progress since 
the world began, and so it has been also through the 
Christian centuries. Indeed there must be, for this 
is the law of the race ; albeit there is loss mixed up 
with the gain, because humanity does not glide on 
like a steam-engine, but moves one leg after the 
other like a man. And of course there are times 
when we wish that the other leg would come along. 

Now the amount of spiritual energy which we can 
absorb is only limited by our own capacity. The 
higher our development and the stronger our faith, 
the more grace can we receive; and that spiritual 
energy or grace can be used for the enlightenment 
of our heavenward vision, for the kindling of love, 
the subduing- of evil passions, and for the healing- 
of the body. Many very good people do not indeed 
use it now for this last purpose. But that is be- 
cause we have forgotten. They can use it thus. 

On the other hand, many ordinary, people have 
not sufficient religious faith, and are therefore not 
susceptible to the highest and strongest impulses ; 
but they can within certain limits be helped to effect 
remarkable triumphs over both mind and body 
over bad habits and obsessions as well as over phys- 
ical ills by means of suggestion. Hence the 
success of hypnotism, and of mental healing, 
whether the healer be a doctor or one of those 
free-lances who may be the dissenting ministers of 



What then is suggestion ? It has been defined as 
" successful appeal to the subliminal self." Sug- 
gestion, we may say, is the process by which the 
undermind is influenced by some power from 
without. In this sense it may quite well be used to 
include the command which so often accompanies 
a miracle, as for instance, " Arise, and walk " ; and 
I see no objection to the statement that suggestion 
is a channel of communication in such a case as 
this speech is certainly a channel when a verbal 
command is given, and suggestion is only the same 
channel cut a little deeper. The word may be ap- 
plied to the planting of a subliminal thought by 
hypnotism, or to the profound changes that are 
wrought by conversation and personal influence, or 
to the same subliminal changes that are brought 
about by religion. 1 

To take an actual instance. A doctor suggests 
to a girl with a paralysed muscle that she is getting 
well as the result of his stroking the muscle, and the 
patient recovers. The power conveyed was the 
thought, and suggestion was merely the process of 
conveying this thought. By the same process an 
entirely different thought might have been conveyed 
the idea, for instance, that the doctor was mak- 
ing the muscle worse or hurting it It would still 
have been suggestion, but the suggestion of a dif- 
ferent thought. We should avoid confusion if we 
refused to call the thought itself a " suggestion." 
It is important to emphasise the fact that sug- 

* See p. 179. 


gestion is merely a process, because many writers 
have imagined that they explained away the super- 
natural by saying that such or such a miracle was 
really due to suggestion. This is like saying that 
drunkenness is really due to swallowing. If sug- 
gestion is successful appeal to the undermind, then 
there must have been suggestion in every healing 
miracle of Christ, since no physical response is 
possible except through the undermind; 1 but the 
powers that utilised the channel remain unac- 
counted for the grace that went forth was not 
suggestion, neither was the faith that received. 

Religious people then need have no- objection to 
the word suggestion : it has rather an ugly sound, 
perhaps like most scientific terms and it is an 
unfortunate word, since in its primary meaning it 
implies consciousness; but at present there is no 
other, and in its technical psychological sense it ex- 
actly describes the process by which grace or any 
other non-material power can produce physical re- 
sults through the undermind. It is thus at least as 
respectable a thing as speech ; it is to the undermind 
what speech is to the overmind, and like speech it 
may be a channel of truth or untruth, of clever men 
or silly men, of sinners, of saints, of Christ him- 

We have only to add that self-suggestion (some- 
times barbarously called auto-suggestion, as if the 
word were not bad enough already) is when a man 
himself conveys an idea to his own subconscious 
regions. Hypnotism is direct suggestion because 
consciousness is inhibited; the cure of the epileptic 

i See Chap. VI. 


boy, of the absent centurion's servant, must also for 
similar reasons, have been done through direct 
suggestion, though clearly not by hypnotism; but 
when our Lord told a man that his faith had made 
him whole, it is clear that there was an element 
of self-suggestion that is to say, the man him- 
self passed on the spiritual power to his undermind. 
When a doctor cures a patient by inspiring him 
with confidence, he gives a mental push which 
enables the patient to heal himself by self-sugges- 
tion. The doctor does not use spiritual grace when 
he heals thus, nor did our Lord use hypnotism when 
he healed through direct suggestion. The channel 
does not determine the power which passes through 

In any case, then, suggestion is an appeal to the 
subconscious self. Somehow the operator gets his 
appeal or his command through the armour and 
into the undermind. He may get in between the 
joints, as in ordinary conversation; or the armour 
may sometimes be torn by a shock, as when a 
paralysed man gets up and runs because the house 
is on fire ; or he may gently lift the armour off, as 
in hypnotism : somehow, he gets his message into 
the und^Htel. There is no doubt that our con- 
scious |^^Bre thus mailed, just as our bodies are 
protecteo^^Jthe horny integument whic^i we call 
the skin. '^|m, habit, sin, the contact with 
men and tlJ^PHpfd the chafing of daily expe- 
rience, generally na^Jtegtfcis psychic armour more 
thick and tough as we^row older. But within is 
something more vital, something fresh and young 
that sings of green meadows under the stock- 


broker's hat, and cries out for God behind the 
ambassador's ribbon. And somewhere in the sub- 
liminal depths there is a power that is simple and 
"receptive like a little child, and holds the keys of 
life or death for every cell in the body. Into those 
depths the hypnotist or the healer may whisper his 
commands and be obeyed. 

In technical language, hypnotism inhibits the 
supraliminal and appeals directly to the subliminal 
-self. The suggestion of the operator is received, 
and becomes the self-suggestion of the subject. He 
comes back to consciousness again; he goes about 
his life under the normal direction of his supralim- 
inal mind; yet all the while the suggestion which 
'he has subliminally received is working he is 
saying to himself, for instance, " I must give up 
taking morphia/' or it may be the thought is im- 
pressing itself in the subconscious recesses of his 
'undermind that he must give up anger and fear, 
and act sweetly and unselfishly to those about him. 
That suggestion may have gone home by very 
simple methods; some forgotten influence may 
have first led him to drive it in himself by self- 
suggestion or it may even have been conveyed 
to him in a sermon. But it is in such ways that the 
floating and ineffective desire for virtue is trans- 
formed into power, and duty becomes imperative. 

Faith and Grace. 

But in spiritual healing we are in the presence of 
forces that are more complete. The mental and 
physical may be there too, and normally they ought 


to be there ; but they themselves are charged with a 
higher power. This may be partly due to the per- 
sonality of the healer, so that the higher the person- 
ality the greater the power. Our Lord himself, 
though he laid great stress on the faith of the sub- 
ject, 1 did also say that virtue had gone out of 
him; 2 and I do not think that the records of 
history leave any doubt as to the healing virtue 1 
which those can communicate who are very near 1 
to God. But we must remember at the same time 
that spiritual healing can be effected without the 
assistance of any visible healer. A man may re- 
cover by seeking God's help alone in prayer. To 
call this mere self-suggestion would be to deny the 
facts of religious experience; yet manifestly the* 
patient himself in such a case has much to do with 
it the grace, it is true, comes from without, but' 
he himself calls it down unaided. What is the' 
explanation ? 

It lies surely in the word Faith. In spiritual heat- 
ing the subject uses faith, in the theological sense 
of that word : it is not now merely the simple recep- 
tivity that unlocks a passage into the subliminal 
depths; it is the deliberate opening of the whole 
spirit to God, the making of our entire human nature 
reason, memory, emotion, imagination, intuition, 
love into a channel of communication with God ; 
it uses all the capacities of man for this Divine 
friendship; what speech and sight, and touch, and 
mutual thought are between lovers, that is faith be- 
tween man and God. It is active as well as passive : 
it is efferent as well as afferent, for what our sense 

1 See pp. 163-5. 2 See p. 163. 


and rnotor organs are to God's creation that faith is 
to God himself the hands, as it were, and feet of 
the spirit, as well as its ears and eyes. It is " the 
primal act of the elemental self/' 1 and by it we 
gather ourselves up for the greatest deeds of our life 

the deeds that eternally matter, and leave us 


Thus in the life of faith the surface of man's 
spirit does not become hardened and leathery by 
experience, as with most of us, but it increases in 
penetrability. The saint, as we say, has always the 
heart of a child ; he is tender-souled, and there is in 
all his strength something of the sunny brightness 
of children's laughter. The shades of the prison- 
house have not closed about him, and he is nearer to 
heaven than when he was a boy. 

His life is indeed a 

Living and learning still, as years assist, 
Which wear the thickness thin and let man see. 

It is a small matter for such a man that the divine 
grace should easily penetrate for bodily succour, 
since it is always being indrawn for greater and 
more difficult ends. And each one of us, in so far 
as he is thus living the life of faith, is in his degree 

i H S. Holland in Lux Mundi, 1890, p. 29, cf. p 14." As 
we put out powers that seem to be our own, still even m 
and by the very act of putting them out, we reveal them 
to be not our own ; we discover that we are always drawing 
on unseen resources. We are sons: that is the root-law of 
our entire self. And faith is the active instinct of that inner 
sonship: it is the point at which that essential sonship 
emerges into consciousness; it is the disclosure to the self 
of its own vital secret; it is the thrill of our inherent child- 


accessible to spiritual grace; for by grace \ve are 
saved through faith. 1 

This faith not only thus increases the receptive- 
ness of the spirit, it also enlarges its capacity, and 
thirdly, it intensifies its powers. All things are pos- 
sible to such force ; it can even change men's hearts, 
and turn their lives, and divert the course of history. 
The saints have always, like our Lord, seemed to 
regard their healing works as easy things, done by 
the way and out of compassion : the work they toiled 
and wrestled over was the work upon men's spirits. 
And often when they healed others they did not 
spare the strength to heal themselves ; often they en- 
dured without thinking the infirmities which they 
could not bear to see unhelped in others. They, 
thought so much on One of whom it is said, " He 
saved others ; himself he cannot save." 

There is much contrast here between the saints 5 
devotion and what is often a mere selfish thing in 
the inner-health movement of to-day; and we who 
belong to their communion have to set our faces 
against the temptation to spiritual selfishness which 
masks itself to-day, as it has done before, under the 
name of Christianity. 2 A company of people con- 
sisting on the one hand of the well-to-do, who need 
nothing but immunity from sickness to make them 
completely comfortable, and on the other of ."spir- 
itual " healers who do nothing without pay such 
circles are not unknown to-day, and they may be- 
come a very parody of the Kingdom of Heaven. 

The grace which saves us through faith cannot be 
treated as if it were so much medicine; and if we 

* Eph. 2 8 . 2 See pp. 2icn2i. 


think thus to use it, we shall never really have it at 
all. It is for our spirits to make us godly, to 
make us unselfish and spiritual, to fill us with the 
genius of service and to give us vision. Inciden- 
tally it brings peace to the soul, and happiness to the 
mind, and redemption to the body. And I think it 
will bring such redemption in so far as mankind is 
worthy of it in so far as men learn to seek it for 
its own sake, and become free of the temptation to 
snatch at it only for their own bodily comfort. 
There is no bound to the measure of grace which 
man may be able to receive ; it will be limited only 
by the intensity of his appeal and by his worthiness 
in using it. Health is good, happiness is good, and 
when man loves God with all his heart, and his 
neighbour as himself, these things will come for all. 
Till then there will be waste and pain, and the need 
of courage and endurance a suffering which is 
often vicarious, but which we can in our measure of 
grace relieve and reduce for others and for our- 
selves. It is God's will that our bodies should be 
glorious as the lilies, and our minds as free from 
care as are the birds of the air. This is our heav- 
enly Father's will because he careth for us : but the 
condition of our coming to it is that we should seek 
first the divine fellowship which is God's Kingdom, 
and the righteousness which is his most inexorable 
law ; and then all these things will be added unto us. 




WE are ready now to turn to the records of Chris- 
tian history ; and first of all let us try to estimate the 
healing work of our Lord as it is told in the Gospels, 
If we had never seen the Gospels, and were to read 
them now for the first time, we should not expect to 
find anything about healing in them, for it has not 
been part of our popular or our academic Christian- 
ity. An enquirer from Japan who had not read the 
New Testament, but had gained his idea of our reli- 
gion by a study of our sermons, hymns, and theolog- 
ical literature, would certainly be surprised to find a 
new element in those sacred books which we profess 
to follow on almost every page, and in almost 
every chapter, healing the miraculous, or rather 
the spiritual healing of the sick. It is not a matter 
of chance allusions here and there though they 
would be enormously important but it is a matter 
of our Lord's whole character and life. If we sit 
down and read through one of the Synoptists 
(marking, it may be, the text as we read), we find 
ourselves committed through and through to that 
mastery of spirit over body which cures sickness. 



The life we read about is the life of One who spent 
his days in teaching and healing, and who commis- 
sioned his disciples to go out in the same way as 
ministers both to the spirits and the bodies of the 
people " He sent them forth to preach the king- 
dom of God, and to heal the sick." * 

How completely modern Christianity in England 
reversed all this, ignoring the sacramentalism of the 
body, is familiar to us all. We find it, for instance, 
in our popular hymns, which always afford a con- 
venient unconscious reflexion of popular theology. 
How different they are from the New Testament in 
this as in other matters ? We do find a few hymns 
which refer to the healing works of Christ, but only 
to point the moral that people ought to give liberally 
on Hospital Sunday an admirable and necessary 
corollary from our Lord's care for the body, but 
certainly not the first or the only inference from it. 
Only one popular hymn professes to deal with the 
healing miracles apart from this connection, to wit, 
" At even ere the sun was set " ; and it is instructive 
to notice how the author unconsciously slides away 
from the healing of the body, and makes us ask to be 
healed not from sickness, but from sin. 

We may contrast with this silence such a hymn as 
Whittier's ** Immortal love for ever full " which was 
not sung in the English Church during the nine- 
teenth century; and the contrast may help us to 
realise our past lack of Evangelical Christianity 

But warm, sweet, tender, even yet 
A present help is he; 

* Luke 9 2. See pp. 188-90. 


And faith has still its Olivet, 
And love its Galilee. 

The healing of his seamless dress 

Is by our beds of pain ; 
We touch him in life's throng and press, 

And we are whole again. 

Let us now proceed to set out in order what the 
Evangelical teaching precisely is about the relation 
of Body and Soul, giving first a complete list of the 
occasions in which healing works are mentioned by 
the four Evangelists. 

We may, perhaps, most conveniently begin by 
summarising the works of healing recounted in St. 
Mark's Gospel, which, as the earliest, is the best 
Gospel for this purpose. 

It is clear from the summary, which follows, that 
it would be vain to attempt an estimate of the num- 
ber of people who were healed by our Lord. But it 
is clear also from the general references to the heal- 
ing of many persons (here printed in italics) that 
the number referred to in this Gospel alone must 
have been exceedingly large ; and yet these are only 
a collection of typical instances, chosen out of the 
miracles that form so considerable a part of the 
works " which Jesus did, the which if they should be 
written every one, I suppose that even the world it- 
self would not contain the books that should be 
written." l 


1 i 23 The Man with the Unclean Spirit at Caper- 


2 i 30 Peter's Wife's Mother. 

1 John 21 2e . 


3 i 32 "All that were sick, and them that were de- 

moniac." 1 

4 j 39 Preaching and casting out d&mons. 

5 i 40 The Leper. 

6 2 3 The Man Sick of the Palsy. 

7 3 i The Man with a Withered Hand. 

8 3 10 "He had healed many!' In St. Matt. (12 15 ) 

" many followed ; and he healed them all." 

9 5 1 The Gerasene Daemoniac. St. Matthew (8 2S ) 

mentions two demoniacs: St. Mark and St. 
Luke (8 26 ) one only. 

10 5 - Jairus' Daughter. 

11 5 25 The Woman with the Issue. 

12 6 5 " No mighty work ... a few sick folk." 

13 6 55 " As many as touched him were made whole" 

Over the "whole region" of Gennesaret, 
" villages," " cities," and " the country." 

14 7 24 The Daughter of the Syrophenician Woman. 

15 7 32 The Man Deaf and Dumb. 

16 8 22 The Blind Man at Bethsaida, 

17 9 14 The Lunatic Child. 

18 10 4<G Blind Bartimssus. 

Without overweighting our survey with the dis- 
cussion of disputed points, 2 let us proceed to set 
down the additions supplied by the other Evan- 


St Matthew repeats most of St. Mark's individual 
cases, and only adds two that he gives in common with 
St. Luke (Nos. 19, 22) and two (Nos. 20, 21) that are pe- 
culiar to his own Gospel : 

19 8 5 The Centurion's Servant. 

20 9 2r The Two Blind Men in the House. 

1 General works of healing, as distinct from individual 
cases, are printed in italics. 

2 Some, for instance, think that the Centurion's servant 
(No. 19) was the same as the Nobleman's Son (No. 38), 
though most commentators hold decisively that they are differ- 
ent cases. There is also some doubt as to whether Lk. n 1A 
refers to No. 21 or 22. 


21 9 32 A Dumb Dssmoniac. 

22 12 22 A Blind and Dumb Dsemoniac. 

This is apparently the same as Luke II 14 . St. 
Mark (3 22 ) also mentions the accusation 
about Beelzebub but omits the exorcism 
{which caused it. 

Though St. Matthew thus gives only two indi- 
vidual cases peculiar to himself, he adds consider- 
ably to our sense of the number healed (the " great 
multitudes" of Matt. 15 29 , and 19 2 ) ; for of the 
eleven general occasions which he mentions, no less 
than seven are additional to those in St. Mark. The 
general occasions which are also in St. Mark are 
8 16 = Mk. i 32 , 12 15 = Mk. 3 10 , and 13 5S = Mk. 
6 *, and 14 34 = Mk. 6 55 . The general occa- 
sions which St. Matthew adds to those already 
mentioned in St Mark are as follows 

23 4 23 "In all Galilee, teaching . . . preaching 

the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all 
manner of disease and all manner of sick- 
ness among the people" 

St. Mark mentions only the teaching (i 21 ) on 
this occasion, and one special instance of the 
Man with the Unclean spirit, No. i (i 23 ). 
We now find that this case was but one out 
of a great number. 

24 9 85 "All the cities and the villages? teaching 

. . . and preaching the gospel of the king- 
dom, and healing all manner of diseases and 
all manner of sickness. 9 ' 

St. Mark here (6 6 ) mentions only the teach- 

25 II 6 "Tell John the things which ye do hear and 

see: the blind receive their sight, and the 
lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the 
deaf hear, and the dead f are raised up, and 
the poor have good tidings preached to 


St. Luke (7 21 ) tells us that Christ was en- 
gaged in healing when he said these words : 
" In that hour he cured many of diseases and 
plagues and evil spirits; and on many that 
were blind he bestowed sight/' 

26 14 14 "He had compassion on them and healed their 


Again, St. Matthew relates healing when St. 
Mark (6 34 ) only mentions teaching: "He 
had compassion on them, because they were 
as sheep not having a shepherd, and he be- 
gan to teach them many things." 

37 IS 30 "And there came unto him great multitudes, 
having with them the lame, blind, dumb, 
maimed, and many others, and they cast them 
down at his feet; and he healed them." 
Here, as in No. 23, St. Mark had only men- 
tioned one special case (7 32 ) of peculiar in- 

28 19 2 "And great multitudes followed him; and he 

healed them there'' 

Again, as in Nos. 23 and 27, St Mark (lo 1 ) 
mentions only the fact that Jesus taught 

29 21 14 f And the blind and the lame came to him in 

the temple; and he healed them!' 
Yet again St. Mark (u 17 ) mentions only that 
Jesus taught after the Cleansing of the Tem- 
ple. So also St Luke (i9 47 )- 


St. Luke does not add much to our knowledge of 
the general occasions, as St. Matthew does, but he 
gives the following additional cases 

30 7 13 - The Raising of the Widow's Son at Nain. 

31 8 2 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, "and 

many others." 

32 13 10 The Woman with a Spirit of Infirmity. 

33 14 * The Man with a Dropsy. 

34 17 ia - The Ten Lepers. 

35 22 ** Malchus. 


Of the general occasions mentioned by St. 
Luke, four are also in St. Matthew, viz., 
4 40 =Mt. 8 16 , 6 17 = Mt 4 23 , 7 21 = Mt n 5 , 
and 9 n = Mt. 14 14 . In the Message to St. 
John Baptist (already given under Mt u 5 as No. 
25), St. Luke, as we have noticed, adds the infor- 
mation that our Lord was actually healing at the 
time. In two other places he mentions healing, 
but neither can be claimed with absolute certainty 
as additions to our number of general occasions 

36 5 15 "Great multitudes came together to hear and 

to be healed of their infirmities. But he 
withdrew himself in the deserts" 
This is one of the occasions on which St. Mark 
(i 45 ) omits all reference to healing. Did 
our Lord accede to the people's request? St. 
Luke says he withdrew to the deserts: St. 
Mark says that "they came to him from 
every quarter" when he was in this retire- 
ment, which looks as if this was an occasion 
of healing for some. 

37 13 32 "Go an d sa y to ^ at i ox > Behold, I cast out 

d&mons and perform cures to-day and to- 
morrow, and the third day I am perfected'' 
This is interesting because Christ makes a 
definite claim to be a healer ; but it does not 
necessarily involve a fresh occasion of heal- 


The Fourth Gospel gives much less space than the 
Synoptists to the works of healing; but the four 
cases he recounts are all new ones, and each is of 
special interest He has also one allusion (6 2 ) to 
the healing of multitudes, an occasion which we 
have already noted in Mt 14 14 as No. 26. This 


makes up his total of five occasions in all, as against 
eighteen occasions in St. Mark, twenty-five in St. 
Matthew, and twenty-four in St. Luke. The spe- 
cial cases are 

^8 4 4S The Nobleman's Son, 

39 5 2 The Impotent Man at Bethesda. 

40 9 1 The Man born Blind. 

41 ii l The Raising of Lazarus. 

Though the three specific instances of our Lord's 
raising the dead cannot be strictly classed as works 
of healing, I have included them as Nos. 10 ( Jairus' 
Daughter), 30 (The Widow's Son at Nain), and 41 
(Lazarus), since they are signal instances of the 
supremacy of the spirit. I have also included the 
exorcism of daemons. 

The dumbness and recovery of Zacharias (Luke 
i 20 , 22 , 64 ) I have omitted, since it was not the 
work either of our Lord or of his Apostles. The 
works of the Apostles recounted in the Gospels be- 
long to Chapter XVIII. 

Our Lord once summed up the message of his 
healing works; and before we pass to a brief con- 
sideration of certain aspects of those works which 
specially claim our notice, it may be well to set down 
the words in which a great modern scholar estimates 
that summary, and the miracles which led up to it. 
Both because of Dr. Harnack's great authority and 
because he speaks from a standpoint very different 
from our own, it will be good to leave him to supply 
a conclusion to the list of miracles which we have 


" What is the answer which Jesus sends to John the 
Baptist ? * The blind see, and the lame walk, the lepers 
are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead rise up, and 
the Gospel is preached to the poor/ That is the * coining 
of the Kingdom/ or rather in these saving -works the 
Kingdom is already there. By the overcoming and re- 
moval o misery, of need, of sickness, by these actual 
effects John is to see that the new time has arrived. 
The casting out of devils is only a part of this work of 
redemption, but Jesus points to that as the sense and 
seal of his mission. Thus to the wretched sick., and poor 
did he address himself, but not as a moralist, and with- 
out a trace of sentimentalism. He never makes groups 
and departments of the ills; he never spends time in 
asking whether the sick one * deserves ' to be cured ; it 
never occurs to him to sympathise with the pain or the 
death. He nowhere says that sickness is a beneficent 
infliction, and that evil has a healthy use. No, he calls 
sickness, sickness, and health, health. All evil, all 
wretchedness, is for him something dreadful; It is of 
the great kingdom of Satan; but he feels the power of 
the Saviour within him. He knows that advance is only 
possible when weakness is overcome, when sickness is 
made well. 95 * 

1 A. Harnack, What is Christianity? 1900, pp. 38-9. 




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Thus there are forty-one Instances of Christ's Works of 
Healing in the Gospels. 

/Of these none are recorded by all four Evangelists. 
Eleven are recorded by three; nine special instances, 
two of multitudes. 

Eight are recorded by two: four special instances, four 
of multitudes. 

Twenty-one are recorded by one: St Matthew six [two 

special, four of multitudes]. 
St. Mark three [two special, one 

of multitudes]. 
St. Luke eight [six special, two of 


St. John four, all special instances. 
Of the forty-one instances twenty-five are given by St. 


Eighteen are given by St. Mark. 
Twenty-four are given by St. Luke. 
Five are given by St. John. 

Christ sending instances of Healing to St. John Baptist 
is mentioned by St. Matthew n 4 , St. Luke 7 21 . 

St. Luke mentions Zacharias being struck dumb through 
unbelief and healed, i 20 . 

No instance of any special work of healing by disciples 
is recorded in the Gospels ; there is mention of failure in 
the case of the boy. Mt. 17 14 , Mk. 9 1& , Lk. 9 40 . 

Authority given to disciples to heal and cast out dae- 
mons, Mt. 10 a - 8 . 

Mk. 6 8 - 13 (by unction), Lk. 9 \ lo 9 ' 17 . 
The Appendix to St. Mark mentions (i6 18 ) authority 
given before Christ's Ascension. 

The Casting out of daemons by a non-disciple is men- 
tioned in Mk. 9 39 , Lk. 9 * 9 . 

The wicked are mentioned as having powers. Mt. 7 22 . 



THIS may be a convenient place for a short discus- 
sion of Dsemoniac Possession; but first it should 
be remarked that according to St. Luke the phy- 
sician, who more than any other Evangelist dwells 
on the connection between bodily ills and spiritual 
agencies, our Lord himself attributed disease to the 
power of evil the hostile power which thwarts 
God's purpose of perfection. Even in the case of 
fever St. Luke (4 39 ) says that our Lord " stood over 
her, and rebuked the fever." " I beheld Satan fall- 
ing as lightning from heaven, 3 ' he exclaimed when 
the Seventy joyfully told him of their success even 
over daemons, 1 and, when he had healed the Woman 
with the Infirmity (No. 32), he spoke of her as 
one " whom Satan had bound, lo, these eighteen 
years." 2 St. Peter, also, described our Lord as 
" healing all that were oppressed of the devil." 3 
On the other hand, it is by the power of God that 
daemons are cast out " by the Spirit of God " in 

1 Lk. To 18 . The Satan of the New Testament is not the 
Satan of mediaeval mystery-plays or pictures, nor the Satan 
of Milton or of the Faust legend; not a rival god of evil, nor 
the absolute source of evil; but the chief among many dis- 
carnate evil personalities. 

2 Lk. 13 i. 

3 rov 5i&(3o\ov t Acts IO 38 . 



St. Matthew's * account, " by the finger of God " in 
St. Luke's. 2 

The subject of Dsernoniac Possession was perhaps 
a greater difficulty to enquiring minds ten years 
ago than it is now. Professor Romanes, for in- 
stance, considered that " possession " was a wrong 
explanation of phenomena which to him were sim- 
ply " nervous disorders." s There is certainly noth- 
ing in* the Gospels to prevent the reader asso- 
ciating the cases of possession with physical de- 
rangement of the nerves (indeed, a man's nerves 
would be strong if they did not succumb to the 
invasion of an alien spirit) ; and the Synoptists 
themselves do sometimes associate physical ills with 
possession 4 which is one reason why exorcism 
cannot be separated in this summary from healing. 
But of course the Synoptists ascribed dsemoniac 
possession as the cause; and that is the difficulty to 
many minds. The Fourth Gospel, it should be 
noticed, holds entirely aloof from this view, and 
mentions no case of the casting out of daemons, 
which certainly looks as if the idea of possession 
had less place in St. John's mind. 

For our present purpose it matters 3jttle whether 
the cases of possession were only nervous disorders 
or whether they were something more. They were 
cases of healing all the same. But it is well to 
remember that the scientific study of the subject is 

12 2S . 

. n 20, 

3 G. J. Romanes, Thoughts on Religion,^. 181, 2nd ed., 1895. 

4 Dumbness in No. 21, deafness and dumbness (Mk. 9 25 ) 
and apparently epilepsy in No. 17, blindness and deafness in 
No. aa. 


still in its infancy. The amazing phenomenon of 
dual personality is now firmly established, and pre- 
sents features as strange as those of possession, 1 
though it involves only the " splitting " of the sub- 
ject's personality, and not the introduction of a new 
personality. But Myers ultimately came to the con- 
clusion that the fact of possession itself has now 
been firmly established, 2 though he did not find any 
sufficient evidence for diabolic or hostile posses- 
sion ; 3 and other eminent investigators also accept 
as a proved fact the vacating of the bodily organ- 
ism by its ordinary possessor while another being, 
a " discarnate spirit/ 7 takes his place. This is, in- 
deed, an enemy knocking at the gates of material- 
ism; for if such possession comes to be generally 
accepted, the fact that man is a spirit inhabiting a 
body will be established beyond the need of con- 
troversy. Meanwhile we may be content to record 

1 See, for instance, Dr. Morton Prince's famous case of 
" Sally Beauchamp/' reported to the International Congress 
of Psychology, August, 1900: Proceedings of the Society for 
Psychical Research, Vol. XV, p. 466; abridged in Myers I, 
pp. 341-352. Sally was apparently only a part of the orig- 
inal Miss B., and not an individual daemon, though she be- 
haved just like one; for instance, Miss B. had a horror of 
snakes and spiders, so "one day Sally [in the person of 
Miss B.] went out into the country and collected some snakes 
and spiders and put them into a little box. She brought 
them home and did them up in a little package, and ad- 
dressed them to Miss Beauchamp, .and when B. I. opened the 
package, they ran out and about the ^ room and nearly sent 
her into fits." Sally hated B. I., the original Miss Beauchamp. 
Perhaps for the benefit of the novice in these matters it is 
necessary to state that of course Sally and B. I. occupied 
the same body: sometimes Miss Beauchamp was herself (B. 
I.), and sometimes she became Sally, i.e. f the second per- 
sonality took possession of her. 

2 F. W. H. Myers, Human Personality, 1894, H, Chap. IX, 

3 Ibid., p. 198. 


the opinion and to pass on, contenting ourselves 
with the observation that the "daemon" the 
Scu/wmov or Baip^v of the Gospels has not neces- 
sarily anything in common with the " devil " or 
" demon " of popular imagination, though daemons 
are sometimes spoken of as unclean spirits, irvev^-ra 
aKatiapra, 1 or " evil," painful (7n>v>?pa) spirits. Most 
Greek pagan writers both before and after Christ, 
considered the daemons as intermediate spirits 
between men and the gods, in which sense angels 
could be called daemons; and indeed Plato's 
" daemon " was in fact his guardian angel. St. 
Paul on 'the other hand treated the pagan gods 
themselves as daemons. 2 Thus the word itself sim- 
ply means a discarnate spirit, which may be either 
good or evil. Naturally a spirit causing sickness 
would be "unclean'" (dKaftzprw) and "painful, 
causing pain or hardship, bad" (irovypov) . Some 
people think that such evil spirits lost their power 
when Christ came to bring a higher order among 
men, and that among pagan peoples such spirits are 
still to be found ; and many missionaries of balanced 
and observant minds relate extraordinary instances 
which have come into their experience. 3 Here, at 

1 It is ,a pity that the revisers had not the courage to put 
" demon * or " daemon " from the margin into the text In 
Acts i/ 18 the word Sawfotov, translated "devil" in the 
Gospels, is translated "god" "a setter forth of strange 
gods " ! 

2 " But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, 
they sacrifice to daemons, and not to God," etc., i Cor. 10 2 - 21 . 

s It must, however, be remembered that a case with all the 
classic signs of " diabolic possession " may turn out to be one 
of dual personality, as in that of "Achilla" (Dr. Janet, 
Nevroses et I dees fixes, 1898, I, p. 377), which is as diabolic 
as anything in old writers. Achille was "exorcised," or 


least, is a field for further investigation. At the 
other extreme the mere biologist may content him- 
self with the thought that a man with influenza is, 
in fact, possessed with a legion of living creatures 
whom we do not hesitate to consider evil That a 
man should become the host of innumerable pro- 
tozoa (each a being with a certain psychology of its 
own) is perhaps not more strange than that he 
should harbour beings that have not even a unicellu- 
lar organism, and therefore have to be called spirits 
or daemons : our ancestors would have thought it less 
strange possibly our descendants may come to 
agree with them. 

It may be worth while to add one further con- 
sideration to what is admittedly a difficult matter in 
our present state of knowledge. Christ is reported 
in the Synoptists as addressing the daemons,, as com- 
manding them to come forth, as conveying power 
over them and exorcising them. If we accept this 
as final, we may argue either that daemons existed 
in the first century and do not exist in the twentieth, 
or that they have disappeared only within the terri- 
tory of the Church, and still exist in pagan centres. 
If, however/, we think that demoniac possession 
never was nor can be possible,, but at the same time 
accept Christianity as a whole, what position is to be 
taken ? We may argue that the Synoptists did not 
report literally our Lord's words, but coloured them 
with their own ideas in this matter; and in favour 
of this the silence of St. John on the subject of 
daemons can be legitimately brought forward. Or 

rather reintegrated, by suggestion and hypnotism.. Ibid., pp. 
404-5. See p. 159. 


we may hold that, as the Son of God, "emptied 
himself " of omniscience as well as of omnipotence 
at the Incarnation, his human knowledge of pathol- 
ogy was merely the knowledge of his time which 
seems to have been the view of Romanes. Or 
we may argue that Christ without accepting the 
theory of daemoniac possession himself, considered 
it best to fall in with the current ideas, rather than 
to give lectures on natural science, which would cer- 
tainly have wrecked his spiritual work. Lastly, it 
may be urged that even at the present day, if a 
patient believes himself to be possessed of a devil, 
he has addressed as if there was a real devil 
there, and the devil has to be ordered about although 
he is only a fragment of the patient's own person- 
ality ; the devil in such a case is an evil fragment 
so far as modern science has brought us not an 
evil spirit, but an evil part splintered off from the 
patient's own spirit, and it has to be dealt with pre- 
cisely in the way we read of in the Gospels. 1 
Those who held this view might be met by the ob- 
jection that apparently Christ had not explained to 

1 See again the case of " Achille " in Janet's Neuroses et 
Idees fixes, as translated in Myers, Human Personality, Vol. 
I, p. 304 

"'I will pot believe in your power/ said Professor Janet 
to the malignant intruder, 'unless you give me a proof/ 
*What proof?' * Raise the poor man's left arm without 
his knowing it/ This was done to the astonishment of 
poor Achille and a series of suggestions followed, all of 
which the demon triumphantly and unsuspectingly carried out, 
to show his power. Then came the suggestion to which 
Professor Janet had been leading up. It was like getting 
the djinn into the bottle. *You cannot put Achille soundly 
to sleep in that arm-chair ! * ' Yes, I can ! ' No sooner said 
than done, and no sooner done than Achille was delivered 
from his tormentor from his own tormenting self." 


the disciples that his language was adapted to the 
needs of the afflicted; but they could reply that 
one disciple enjoyed the special confidence of his 
Master, and this disciple wrote no word about 

something" seal'd 
The lips of that Evangelist 

I do not give any of these opinions as command- 
ing my own acceptance, but I think it is worth while 
to give them all, since this is one of those questions 
to which at the present moment we cannot expect 
every man to give the same answer. 



Faith: Were the Miracles 'Evidential? 

WHAT is said in the Gospels about the power which 
could effect the redemption of the body? It is 
clearly the power of God exercised in order to 
restore nature to that perfection which is God's 
ultimate will; and healing- is thus a manifestation 
of " the works of God." L This power our Lord 
exercises in his own person, as when he says, " I 
will, be thou clean/' 2 He puts forth the power of 
God because he is the Son of God " My Father 
worketh even until now, and I work/' When he is 
challenged for this statement, he makes the declara- 
tion which St. John has presented for us, as the 
Master's own explanation of his healing works 

" Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do noth- 
ing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: 
for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth 
in like manner. For the Father loveth the Son, and 
sheweth hini all things that himself doeth: and greater 
works than these will he shew him, that ye may marvel. 
For as the Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them, 
even so the Son also quickeneth whom he will," a 

ijn.9-. $** 
2 Mt 8 s . . 
Jn. 519-21. 



Thus the Son quickens, gives life, because God is 
the giver of life. 

The purpose of God is life and perfection, whole- 
ness, and health; and the reason why Jesus Christ 
heals is because he is the Son of God and in the 
counsels of his Father, knowing perfectly the eter- 
nal Will, and doing it. Sin is spiritual lawlessness, 
and disease is physical lawlessness. Both are 
infringements of the Divine Will. Over both the 
Son has power ; and he who can say, " Thy sins are 
forgiven/' can also give the easier command, 
" Arise, and walk/' l 

But our Lord was far indeed from claiming that 
this power was confined to the Divinity in his per- 
son. He claimed it for himself because he was 
obedient to his Father, and what he claimed for 
himself he claimed also for others; indeed for his 
own faithful followers he foretold " greater works " 
than those which he did himself, 2 He healed and 
he forgave as the Son of Man ; and his mission was 
to bring the sons of men into himself that they 
might also work as the sons of God, and do the 
will of God. 3 It is still common to see Thy will be 
done inscribed on a tombstone often on the grave 
of a little child as if God's will were disease and 
death. But the Will of God is that we may have 
life, and have it abundantly; and the Christian's 
daily prayer is that God's will may be done as per- 
fectly on earth as it is in heaven. 

The power, indeed, which he exercised in his 

1 Mk. 2 a. 

2 Jn. 1412. See p. i8a. 

s See Chapters XVII, XVIII. 


therapeutic miracles must have been the human 
" gift of healing/' as St. Paul calls it, 1 which never 
seems to be uncommon amongst men; though in 
Christ's case it was as perfect as his manhood, and 
was enriched by his consummate union with the 
Father. He himself felt it as something that went 
out of him when he healed, producing (one may 
surmise) a certain feeling of exhaustion, to the 
existence of which many modern healers testify: 
at least he seems to be speaking of a familiar symp- 
tom when he says " Someone did touch me : for 
I perceived that pow r er had gone forth from me." 2 
The virtue which the Evangelist noted as power 
which " came forth from him, and healed them 
all," 3 was something which our Lord was conscious 
of missing. 


But most remarkable of all is the limitation which 
Christ himself declared to be imposed by the con- 
dition of the patient. Faith, he said more than 
once, was the main agent ; " Thy faith hath made 
thee whole/' 4 and " according to your faith be 
it done unto you." 5 His healing was not the 
arbitrary work of omnipotence, but was the co- 
operation of his will with the will of the patient; 
and on one occasion we are told distinctly that his 
power was limited by the little faith that he 

*i Cor. i2-2s 

Lk. 6". 
*Mk. 10 5 
Mt 9 2ft . 


" And he could do there no power, save that he laid 
his hands on a few sick folk, and healed them. And 
he marvelled because of their unbelief." 1 

If we regard the therapeutic miracles from the 
scientific point of view, we should naturally expect 
to find the element of faith. Medical experience 
shows clearly that some kind of subliminal recep- 
tivity is required if non-material forces are to act 
on the body. Hypnotism, as we have seen, is 
one very simple way of removing- the outer layers 
and laying the undermind bare to the physician's 
suggestion ; and in all mental healing the depths of 
this inner self have to be reached. The undermind 
is more or less insulated, to use an analogy from 
electricity, by the shell of the soul that surface 
of our souls which becomes hardened by contact 
with the world's experience ; but as soon as we get 
beneath this bad conductor of spiritual force, we 
find the subconscious self, which does not argue 
or criticise or repel, but accepts. This elemental 
receptivity we may call faith in its lowest sense; 
but religious faith is more than this it is the 
deliberate opening of the whole self to God, and it 
involves the whole nature of man; it not only in- 
creases the receptiveness, we said, of the spirit, but 
it also enlarges its capacity and intensifies its 
powers. If, therefore, the Gospels are a true 
record, we may look to find a great deal attributed 
to 'faith. 

And this is what we do find. Had Christ been a 

?Mk. 6* St. Matthew says (13 s *): "He did not many 
mighty works there because of their unbelief." 


mere wonder-worker, seeking to win acceptance by 
his thaumaturgic powers, he would have laid stress 
on his own share in these miracles and have mini- 
mised or ignored the share of his patients. He did 
precisely the opposite; and consequently his doc- 
trine and his methods of healing are what modern 
knowledge would lead us to expect, and are the 
best examples to-day for those who would pursue 
the subject. 

If we look through the Gospel instances, we shall 
find that the existence of faith is described in the 
cases of the Leper (No. 5); the multitudes who 
" pressed upon him that they might touch him " 
(No. S) ; the multitudes who "besought him that 
they might touch if it were but the border of his 
garment" (No. 13) ; the Blind and Lame who 
" came to him in the temple " (No. 29) ; the Ten 
Lepers (No. 34) who lifted up their voices with 
t( Jesus, Master, have mercy on us " ; the Great 
Multitudes (No. 36), who came "to hear and to 
be healed " ; and also, we may add, in the case of the 
Man who lay at Bethesda (No. 39) in the hope of 
being healed. To Blind Bartimseus (No. 18) 
he said, " Thy faith hath made thee whole " ; and 
to the Woman with the Issue (No. n), although 
he had declared that power had gone out of him, 
yet he said " Daughter, thy faith hath made thee 
whole." He asked the Two Blind Men (No. 20), 
" Believe ye that I am able to do this ? " and when 
they had answered, "Yea, Lord," he said, "Ac- 
cording to your faith be it done unto you." 

If we doubted the existence of faith in the other 
cases our doubts would be set at rest by the explicit 


statement in No. 12 that his healing power was 
greatly curtailed because of the people's unbelief 
at Nazareth. Naturally the Evangelists do not 
always mention the fact that faith was present, 
especially when the narrative is condensed. But 
there are only seven instances of this omission ; l 
and in a large number faith is clearly implied by 
the fact that the sick were brought to our Lord, 
or that (in No. 13) the multitudes ran after him 
such are Nos. 3, 6, 15, 16, 17, 21, 23, 27, and the 
case of Peter's Wife's Mother (No. 2) of whose ill- 
ness they told Christ, and he came to her. Indeed, 
in these instances the factor of faith is really of 
special strength; for there was a collective faith, and 
the sick were helped by the fervour of their friends. 
What a tense atmosphere of faith, for instance, is 
described in No. 27 

"And there came tmto him great multitudes, having 
with them the lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many 
others, and they cast them down at his feet; and he 
healed them : insomuch that the multitude wondered, when 
they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, and^ the 
lame walking, and the blind seeing: and they glorified 
the God of Israel" 

A few other cases are not so simple. It seems to 
have been a conflict between the awakening f^ith 
of the subject and the evil spiritual influence that 
caused the Daemoniac at Capernaum (No. i) or 
rather the unclean spirit in him to cry out, " Let 
us alone : what have we to do with thee ? . . . 
I know thee who thou art " ; and so also with the 
Gerasene Dasmoniac (No. 9) who worshipped as 

i Viz., Nos. 4, 22, 24, 28, 30 31, and 35. 


he uttered a similar cry. We are not told of any 
previous sign of faith in the cases of the Man with 
the Withered Hand (No. 7) and the ilan Born 
Blind (No. 40); but the former must have had 
faith, since he obeyed the command to stand up and 
afterwards to stretch forth his hand ; and the latter, 
after submitting to the anointing of his eyes went 
obediently to wash in Siloam, so that he showed 
faith at least after our Lord had addressed him. 
The one rather difficult case is that of Malchus 
(No. 35) : if we think that faith is essential in 
every kind of healing, we shall have to suppose 
either that this servant of the High Priest was 
already in some measure a believer, or else (as is 
not improbable) that in his sudden pain he turned 
to Christ for succour: but this incident which is 
mentioned only by St. Luke, though all four 
Evangelists relate the cutting off of the ear 
stands so entirely by itself that it seems to rank 
rather among the unexplained miracles than among 
Christ's ordinary works of healing. 

There remain still (if we omit the three instances 
of restoration to life) the interesting cases of vica- 
rious faith when parents ^begged for the healing of 
their children the Syrophenician Woman (No. 
14), the Father of the Lunatic Child (No. 17), and 
the Nobleman (No. 38) and the Centurion (No. 19) 
who asked for the healing of his servant. It is 
remarkable that in each of these cases the faith was 
exceedingly strong and great stress Is laid on it. 
To the Syrophenician our Lord said, " O woman, 
great is thy faith : be it done unto thee even as thou 
wilt." On only one other occasion did our Lord 


speak of anyone's faith as great, and that was when 
the Centurion cried, " Only say the word, and my 
servant shall be healed"; "When Jesus heard it, 
he marvelled, and said to them that followed, 
* Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great 
faith, no, not in Israel/ and to the Centurion, ' Go 
thy way; as thou hast believed, so be it done unto 
thee.' " With the Father of the Lunatic Child 
(No, 17) this notable dialogue took place 

THE FATHER: "But if thou canst do anything, have 
compassion on us, and help us." 

JESUS: "If thou canst! All things are possible to 
him that believeth," 

THE FATHER (with tears): "I believe; help thou 
mine unbelief." 1 

What are we to think about this parental faith? 
No doubt it gave power to the prayer for succour ; 
but we can hardly account for our Lord's special 
insistence on it unless in these vicarious cases also 
faith had a therapeutic value. Whether the sick 
child at home (No. 38) was conscious or not of the 
efforts made on his behalf, it would seem that the 
intense and fervent faith of the parent had Its in- 
fluence upon the child's undermind. Such power 
of one person on another is common enough, and 
telepathy we may accept as common too. There 
would thus be ground for supposing that the faith 
of the parent produced the " atmosphere " which 
seems always to have been required, and opened a 
way for the healing power of Christ. 

1 The meaning of Mk. 9 23 is only brought out in the 
Revised Version. 


Were the Miracles Evidential? 

This being so, it is clear that these miracles were 
not wrought in order to convince men of Christ's 
Divinity. They were not arguments; they were 
acts of kindness. They were in fact not primarily - 
evidential. " Signs " they are indeed to the mind 
of St. John, because, as Bishop Westcott says, 
" They make men feel the mysteries which underlie 
the visible order/' l signs, or acts significant of 
the Will of God, of the tender compassion of Jesus, 
of his care for earthly things signs of the power, 
too, of healing, and signs set up against the cruel 
and unearthly creed which has travestied Chris- 
tianity in the time behind us. But not signs put 
forward to compel men into belief. In the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries (when the Deists 
worshipped a Sultan and the Calvinists worshipped 
a devil) miracles were put forward as the evidence 
of Christianity; the whole burden of proof was 
laid on them, because, as Archbishop Trench said, 
the deeper mysteries of our faith were thrust 
greatly out of sight by a cold, unspiritual theology 
which required external evidence and mathematical 

Our Lord did not go about advertising his power., 
"He went about doing good, and healing" 
that is the summary of his life given by St. Peter. 3 
It has been easy for those who regarded the mir- 
acles merely as proofs of the Incarnation to declare 

1 B. F. Westcott, The Gospel according to St. John, p. Ixxvi. 

2 R. C Trench, Notes on the Miracles, 1884, pp. 95-100. 
s Acts 10 s8 . 


that they came to an end in Apostolic times; but we 
shall shed that idea of spiritual healing having long 
ago ended, if we no longer look upon our Lord's 
works of mercy as having been done in the interests 
of dogma. It was, perhaps, to show that our Lord 
in his great love could heal just for the sake of 
healing that the Evangelists have recorded certain 
cases in which he enjoined secrecy ; " Tell no man/' 
he said to the Leper (No. 5), and to the family of 
Jairus (Nkx 10), to the Deaf Man (No. 15), and 
to the Two Blind Men (No. 20) whom he sternly 
charged to see that no man knew it ; and apparently 
with the same intent he said to the Blind Man at 
Bethsaida (No. 16), "Do not even enter into the 
village/' * These instances prove that it could not 
have been only for his own glory that he healed the 
sick, and therefore that another reason must be 
found that other reason being that he healed the 
sick because he was " doing good/' 

Yet it would be equally unreasonable on the other 
hand to deny that the miracles have evidential im- 
portance. Most of them were done publicly, and 
excited immense popular enthusiasm. They were- 
a prime cause in drawing the multitudes to Christ/ 
as St. John especially notes more than once. 2 Our 
Lord himself on a memorable occasion instanced 
the works that he was doing as evidences to John 
Baptist of his Messiahship. "Art thou he that 
cometh?" said the messengers, "or look we for 

1 This is stated in a gloss, " nor tell it to any in the town/* 
which is familiar to us through the Authorised Version, but 
is rejected in modern texts. 

2 e.g., "Many believed on his name, beholding his signs 
which he did." Jn. 2 2S . 


another? " In that hour, St. Luke tells us, he cured 
many people ; and he turned to the messengers with 
the simple reply " Go your way, and tell John 
what things ye have seen and heard: the blind 
receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are 
cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised 
up, the poor have good tidings preached to them." * 
Did our Lord regard his cheering message to the 
poor as the greatest evidence of all? It comes 
last in what seems to be an ascending scale ; and it 
makes the stress of the evidence lie on the merci- 
fulness rather than the wonderfulness of the works. 
When the Scribes and Pharisees asked for a sign 2 
in the ordinary sense, they were sternly refused; 
and Herod, too, hoped for a sign, but in vain. 3 

Our Lord also recognised the converting power 
of his works when he denounced Chorazin and 
Bethsaida : " for if the powers had been done in 
Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they 
would have repented long ago in sackcloth and 
ashes." 4 In the case of the Paralytic, too, he 
instanced the cure as a sign that " the Son of Man 
hath power on earth to forgive sins." 5 Yet these 
instances are few ; and three sayings quoted by St. 
John show that our Lord tolerated rather than en- 
forced the evidential value of his miracles: the 
rebuke, " Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will 
in no wise believe." 6 The remark: "The very 
works that I do, .bear witness of me," 7 and Be- 
lieve me that I am in the Father, and the Father in 

1 Lk. 7 22 . See p, 148, for Harnack's comment on this. 

2 Mt. 12 39 . 5 No. 6. 

23 8 . 6 Jn. 4 48 - 

7 Jn. 5 36 - 


me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." l 
It has been said, indeed, by many writers on the 
subject, that St. John, looking back after many 
years, appealed to the miracles which he records to 
prove Christ's Divinity : " These are written, that 
ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of 
God; and that believing ye may have life in his 
name/' 2 But this is to mistake the whole point 
of the statement St. John is speaking not of 
the miracles in general, still less of the healing 
works but of the special <f signs " by which our 
Lord manifested his Resurrection to the disciples, 
and the remark is called forth by the appearance to 

We may, therefore, safely say that our Lord did 
not heal men in order to prove his own Divinity, 
though his healing them " by the finger of God " 3 
or by " the Spirit of God " did indeed show that the 
kingdom of God was come upon them, 4 On one 
occasion truly that of the Gadarene Daemoniac 
he did command the healed man to publish the 
fact, but it was only to make known the mercy of 
God. " Go to thy house unto thy friends, and tell 
them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, 
and how he had mercy on thee." 5 

Modern scholars do indeed now appreciate the 
true significance of these healing miracles. That 
significance could not in this aspect be better ex- 
pressed than in the words of Dr. Harnack, whom 
again 6 I would quote as an independent witness of 

ijn. 14 1X . *Mt. 12 * 8 . 

*Jn. 20 si. Mk. 5". 

ii 20 . 6 As on p. 149. 


great sanity and strength. He says of our 

" He sees himself surrounded by crowds of sick peo- 
ple; he attracts them, and his one impulse is to help 
them. Jesus does not distinguish rigidly between sick- 
nesses of the body and of the soul; he takes them both 
as different expressions of the one supreme ailment irr 
humanity. But he knows their sources. He knows it is 
easier to say, 'Rise up and walk/ than to say, 'Thy 
sins are forgiven thee/ And he acts accordingly. No 
sickness of the soul repels him he is constantly sur- 
rounded by sinful women and taxgatherers. Nor is any- 
bodily disease too loathsome for Jesus. In this world 
of wailing, misery, filth, and profligacy, which pressed- 
upon him every day, he kept himself invariably vital, 
pure, and busy. 

" In this way he won men and women to be his dis- 
ciples. The circle by which he was surrounded was a 
circle of people who had been healed. They were healed 
because they had believed on him, i.e., because they had 
gained health from his character and words. To know 
God meant a sound soul. This was the rock on which 
Jesus had rescued them from the shipwreck of their life. 
They knew they were healed, just because they had rec- 
ognised God as the Father in his Son. Henceforth they 
drew health and real life as from a never- failing 
stream." 1 

The healing miracles are indeed invaluable to the 
Church, and rightly are they classed in Christian 
Liturgies among the " epiphanies " or manifesta- 
tions. They show at once both the power and the 
loving kindness of the Master; but they also pre- 
cisely show this that a like power and a like 
loving kindness is expected from his disciples to- 
day, as it was expected during his own earthly 
ministry a like albeit a lesser power; and the 

* A. Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity 
(Tr. J. Moffat, 2nd ed., 1908), I, pp. 101-2. 


main evidential value of the miracles is, as we shall 
say later, the proof they afford of the power of 
religion as such, the power in all ages of spirit over 
matter, the power gathered into its fulness in 
Christ of goodness over evil., of grace over sin, 
and of virtue over disease. 

Men believed because they saw the evidence of 
this. Have they no rigiit to ask for some evidence 

Ought not the Christian priest and the Christian 
doctor, the saint, and the gifted, and the humblest 
communicant of the Body of Christ ought not 
these each to be a strong" man armed, fighting-, not 
to hew himself a way into some heavenly mansion, 
nor like a Mohammedan to secure himself delights 
in the world that is to come; but willing even him- 
self to be a castaway, and to save his soul only by 
losing it, so that he may fight for the afflicted and 
the oppressed, the poor and him that hath no helper ; 
fighting in God's name and in the Master's service 
against the many-headed dragons of the world's 
miseries, against suffering and disease, in the whole 
armour of God the armour of head, and hands, 
and heart? And, fighting thus, shall not each 
humblest warrior of the Red Cross be in some 
sure measure victorious ? 

There is, indeed, evidential value of such a kind 
as this in works and signs and powers. And the 
world asks for evidence to-day. 



Word, Touch, Telepathy, Suggestion 

IF we try to get an idea of the methods employed in 
these forty-one miracles of our Lord, we shall find 
they fall into certain definite classes, omitting- those 
of which nothing is said as to the manner of heal- 
ing. 1 At the outset we may observe that, though 
our Lord enjoined unction on the Disciples, he is 
never related to have used oil himself, although on 
one occasion (No, 40) he " anointed " a blind man's 
eyes with clay. The laying-on of hands is occa- 
sionally mentioned (Nos. 3, 12, 16, 32), and I 
should suppose this was his general method, 
omitted in most accounts just because it was the 
natural and obvious way of conveying spiritual 


None the less it is remarkable how often our Lord 
healed simply by Word of Command. He ordered 
the daemons in Nos. i and 9 to- come forth : to the 
Paralytic at Capernaum (No. 6) and the Impotent 
Man at Bethesda (No. 39) he said, "Arise, take 
up thy bed, and walk " ; and a similiar salutary call 

iz., Nos, 4, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 
35, 36, 37- 



to action was given to the Man with the Withered 
Hand (No. *j.) The command to rise was also 
given in the raising of the Widow's Son (No. 30), 
and of Lazarus (No. 41 ). To the Ten Lepers (No. 
34) he said merely, " Go and show yourselves unto 
the priests " ; to the Two Blind Men (No. 20) , after 
questioning them as to their faith, "According to- 
your faith be it done unto you." 

Word and Touch 

In six instances we read of our Lord using Word 
and Touch combined. He took Peter's Wife's 
Mother (No. 2) by the hand and raised her up, 
and St. Luke adds (4 39 ) that he rebuked the fever; 
He "touched" the Leper (No. 5) with the words, 
" I will, be thou clean " ; he took Jairus' Daughter 
(No. 10) by the hand, and called, "Talitha, Cumi." 
He rebuked the unclean spirit of the Lunatic Child 
(No. 17) with, " I command thee, come out of him, 
and enter no more into him," and when the boy 
fell down in convulsions and lay as one dead, he 
took him by the hand and raised him up. To the 
Woman with the Infirmity (No. 32) he said, 
" Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity," 
and then laid his hands upon her. In the wonder- 
fully dramatic story of Bartimseus (No. 18) St. 
Mark tells us how our Lord said, " Go thy way ; 
thy faith hath made thee whole," and St. Matthew 
(who supposes that there were two blind men) says 
that he touched their eyes, but does not mention 
the words. 

Touch alone is mentioned in the quite exceptional 


case of Malchus ( No. 35) ; and also when in No. 
12 he laid his hands on a few sick folk and healed 
them; but it is not improbable that in both these 
instances the touch was accompanied by speech. 
As we have just seen, the omission of speech in the 
healing of Peter's Wife's Mother is supplied by 
St. Luke ; and it is significant that there are no more 
than two cases in which this very natural omission 
occurs each case being related by only one 

In three other cases ceremonial is combined with 
the use of Touch and Word, Our Lord took the 
Deaf and Dumb Man (No. 15) aside from the 
multitude, and then " put his fingers into his ears, 
and he spat, and touched his tongue ; and looking up 
to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephpha- 
tha, that is, Be opened." The Blind Man at 
Bethsaida (No. 16) , also he took by the hand and led 
out of the village; then he moistened his eyes, and 
laid his hands on him, and asked, " Seest thou 
aught ? " 1 This most interesting cure was gradual, 
and the man replied, " I see men ; for I behold them 
as trees walking." " Then, again, he laid his hands 
upon his eyes; and he looked steadfastly, and was 
restored, and saw all things clearly/' In No. 40, 
the procedure was more elaborate; for, after the 
Man Born Blind had been anointed with the clay, 
he was told to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam, 
which being done, he returned seeing. 

i The use of saliva in this way would have appealed to men 
as a teaching ceremony in ancient times, when it was used 
as an ordinary remedy, just as was the case with oil. Com- 
pare the case of the Emperor Vespasian, who restored a blind 
man by the same means (Tacitus, Historia, IV, 8). 


On three other occasions we are told that Christ 
was touched by the sick, and it was on one of these 
(No. n) that he declared his perception of the 
"power from him" which had gone forth. On 
this occasion it is to be noted that the Woman with 
the Issue touched his garments only, as he himself 
stated. Similarly in No. 13 the people " besought 
him that they might touch if it were but the border 
of his garment," though the Greek leaves us in 
doubt whether to read " and as many as touched it 
were made whole," or " as many as touched him." 
The remaining instance is No. 8, when " as many 
as had plagues pressed upon him that they might 
touch him." 


The three last occasions are those in which our 
Lord healed by Telepathy. Some may not like the 
word in this connection; but there is no real objec- 
tion to it except that it is new. In the light of our 
present knowledge it is as necessary and inevitable 
a term as speech or touch : the word means in fact, 
as its author defines it, 1 " the communication of im- 
pressions of any kind from one mind to another, 
independently of the recognised channels of sense." 
In fact, telepathy is a power which we Christians 
have always believed in and have universally used ; 
for if there is any such thing as prayer to God and 
any such thing as the communion of saints, there 
must be a means of communication that does not 
depend upon the ear or any other sense-organ. We 
all pray, often indeed without words at all; and it 

1 Myers, Human Personality (1904), p. xxii. 


is a common experience of saintly persons that in 
prayer God speaks to them. " How can you speak 
to an invisible Spirit?" was once a common objec- 
tion of unbelievers, and is still at the bottom of 
much irreligion and indiff erentism ; but now it is 
being demonstrated that " spirit with spirit can 
meet/ 7 and so we have the benefit of two new scien- 
tific terms Telepathy, or spiritual communica- 
tion, and Telsesthesia or spiritual perception. 

Thus, when our Lord healed the child of the 
Syrophenician Woman (No. 14), he healed her by 
Telepathy. So It was also when the Centurion's 
Servant (No. 19) " was healed in that hour " ; and 
so it was when the Nobleman (No. 38) " knew that 
it was at that hour in which Jesus said unto him, 
Thy son liveth." The healing message of power 
had been instantaneously conveyed. 


One more thing may be said as to the means by 
which power was conveyed through these much 
varied methods. As we have used the word Telep- 
athy, so we need not shrink from speaking of 
Suggestion in the technical sense which psycholo- 
gists have given it though indeed it may at first 
sound almost ignoble in this connection. Myers 
defines it as "the process of effectively impressing 
upon the subliminal intelligence the wishes of the 
man's own supraliminal self or of some other 
person." 1 

Thus understood, I do not think we need hesitate 

i Myers, Hwnan Personality, p. xxi. See p. 133 above. 


to say that Suggestion was probably the ultimate 
means by which power was conveyed in all the 
therapeutic miracles, just as word and touch, 
dramatic action and ceremonial, were the more im- 
mediate means. Word was used in some cases, 
touch was added in others, but suggestion, we 
should suppose, was used in all suggestion, that 
is to say, the process by .which Christ impressed his 
commands upon the undermind of the patient 
and also Self-suggestion, which is the impressing 
of the wishes of the patient's own overmind upon 
his undermind, and which is an important element 
in therapeutic faith. 

It is surely clear from the records that our Lord 
knew this, and that he sometimes deliberately 
heightened the suggestion by dramatic or symbolic 
ac tion as when he told the Man with the 
Withered Hand (No. 7) to stand up, and then to 
stretch forth his hand, or when he put his fingers in 
the ears and touched the tongue of the Deaf and 
Dumb Man (No, 15), or when using an action 
that had familiar therapeutic associations he 
moistened with saliva the eyes of the Blind Man at 
Bethsaida (No. 16) and of the Man Born Blind 
(No. 40). It seems most probable that in all these 
cases the patient's faith was weak enough to need 
some special enhancement; and if we look on the 
other hand at those cases when special stress is laid 
on the patient's faith (Nos. 5, n, 18, 20, 34) we 
find that there is no effort to heighten the suggestion 
by special action on our Lord's part. 

If this indeed be so, it means that Christ followed, 
in this as in everything else, the laws of God. Till 


recently we did not know of the existence of such 
laws in the mysterious depths of the soul ; but now 
we know that there is a process by which impres- 
sions are conveyed to the undermind, a process 
which we call Suggestion ; and w r e find, as we should 
a priori have expected, that our Lord was not law- 
less, but used a higher law to over-rule a lower, and 
did his works of healing in accordance with the 
processes of nature. We once did not know enough 
thus to explain the therapeutic miracles; and still 
we are in ignorance as to the laws by which the 
nature-miracles were effected ; but it is admitted on 
all hands that some such laws there must be if the 
nature-miracles are true : that is to say, if we knew 
enough we should understand the process by which 
they are accomplished laws indeed transcending 
the common agencies, " but transcending them," as 
Bishop Lyttleton said, " in no arbitrary and lawless 
fashion, but according to the highest and most 
unchanging of all laws, the law of his will and of 
his wisdom." "If," he continues, "miracles are 
violations of law, I, for one, could not defend them. 
The highest man Is he whose actions are most in 
accordance with law; to believe, therefore, that 
God's most special and personal acts are lawless is 
to make him inferior to our highest conceptions of 
human character." i To say then that our Lord 
used the natural process of Suggestion is but to in- 
crease the evidence that he is one with Nature's 
God. 2 

*A. T. Lyttleton, Hulsean Lectures: "The Place of Mir- 
acles in 'Religion" (1899), PP* *37, J43- . . t . . , 

2"Neque enim potentia temerana, sed sapiente virtute, 
omnipotens est," says St. Augustine. 



SUCH being the nature of that healing- mission 
which formed so large a part of our Lord's min- 
istry, we are confronted with the important ques- 
tion. Ought the followers of Christ to do $LS their 
Master did? or rather, Can they? 

To both questions our Lord himself gives a 
definite, explicit, and uncompromising answer 

** Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that "believeth on 
me, the works that I do shall he do also ; and greater works 
than these shall he do, because I go unto the Father. 
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, 
that the Father may be glorified in the Son/* 1 

Now " works " is the word specially used in the 
Fourth Gospel for miracles, which are either 
"works" or " signs "; and there is no doubt that 
the word has that meaning here if there were, 
the preceding- sentence, " or else believe me for the 
very works' sake," would set the doubt at rest. 2 

ijn. I4 12 ' 1S . 

2 It is significant how many commentators have ignored 
this- Westcott, for instance, generally so minute, slips over 
"the works that I do shall be done," and then proceeds to 
emphasise the very probable opinion that the " greater works " 
of the next sentence refers to the effects of preaching, thus 
effectively concealing the main point of the passage. Godet,* 
however, makes that point clear by saying "The words, the* 



There is also no doubt that the miracles usually 
denoted as " works " are the ordinary works of 
healing, which indeed form so enormously large a 
proportion of our Lord's signs that the nature- 
miracles may be considered as quite exceptional 
occurrences. We may, I think, safely assume that 
it was not to such exceptional miracles as these 
that Christ was here referring; for in his commis- 
sion to the Twelve 1 he confined their powers to the 
works of healing-, and we find no trace of anything 
like the " cosmic " miracles in the Acts of the 
Apostles : it must have been clearly understood that 
Christ did not commission his disciples to exercise 
authority over the powers of nature. 

Before we discuss the Commission to the Twelve, 
let us notice clearly that our Lord does not in the 
passage we have quoted confine the "works" to 
his Apostles, as is Sometimes very strangely as- 
sumed. 2 On the contrary, he quite definitely pre- 
dicts this power for all those who believe on him: 
it is not, "the works that I do shall ye do also, 
but " he that believeth on me, . . . shall he do 
also." Protestant theologians have ignored this, 
and have assumed that miracles ceased with the 
Apostles, and that all the later miracles in the 
Church were " superstitions " and untrue; or else 
have held with the great body of old English 

works that I do shall he do, refer to the miracles, like those 
of Jesus, which the Apostles wrought," But even Godet, it 
will be noticed, restricts these words to the Apostles, and thus 
gravely distorts their meaning. 

* See p, 185. 

2 See Note 2 on preceding page, also p. 185. 


divines, such as Dodwell and Tillotson L (very 
quaintly) that miracles ceased at the establishment 
of Christianity tinder Constantino which would 
be a terrific argument in favour of Disestablish- 
ment, Now, it is not only more loyal to accept our 
Lord's promise as it stands, but it is also more rea- 
sonable ; for, while we should naturally expect him to 
exercise powers greater than his disciples, it would 
be difficult to believe that the New Testament char- 
acters did mighty works, which no later saints were 
able to repeat. We can hardly at the present day 
understand miracles being confined to a special age 
though we can understand their being confined to 
particular people in every age which was ex- 
actly what our Lord foretold. He promised to be 
with his Church always ; he promised the Spirit for 
all time; and if we are to believe in " powers " and 
" works " at all, we must believe in their possibility 
always. It is true that the records of the New 
Testament are of peculiar trustworthiness they 
were indeed selected by the Church during the 
course of the first four centuries for this very 
reason, but they are not the only instance in history 
of faithful documents by eye-witnesses or their 
friends. What right then have we to call that 
superstitious in the fifteenth or the fifth century 
which we call inspired in the first and credible in 
the second? unless, indeed, we assume as a 
general principle that the more remote an event is, 
the more likely it is to be correctly recorded. 
If, then, the Fourth Gospel truly reports our 

*Dr. J. H, Bernard in Easting's Diet, of the Bible, III* 


Lord's words, we ought to expect works of special 
power more particularly of special therapeutic 
power from " him that believeth" on Christ. 
But such believers must believe also in the possibil- 
ity of this power, or it will be latent. The scarcity 
of " works/' since the decay of Catholicism in the 
later Middle Ages, and the consequent Protestant 
reaction, is 'therefore not to be wondered at 
though indeed such works neither are nor have been 
so rare as is commonly supposed. If it is said of 
the Master himself that he could do no mighty work 
because of other persons' unbelief, we need not 
wonder that his followers have failed because of 
their own. 

But our Lord takes us yet further, and beyond 
the circle of his own professed disciples. If there 
are many Protestants who resent the possibility 
of miracles since the first century, so there are 
Catholics, on the other hand, who scorn the idea 
of miracles being wrought outside the Church. To 
them, also, our Lord would teach the large lesson 
of tolerance. And this brings us to our next 

42 Mk. 9 38 A NON-DISCIPLE: "John said tmto him, 
Master, we saw one casting out demons 
in thy name: and we forbade him, be- 
cause he followed not us. But Jesus 
said, Forbid him not: for there is no 
man which shall do a power in my 
name, and be able quickly to speak evil 
of me. For he that is not against us 
is for us." 

And, coupled with this success of one who was 
not a Hiscinle. we have a record of failure on the 


part of the disciples themselves. It is the case of 
the Lunatic Child (No. 17) 

I7A Mk. 9 1S THE DISCIPLES: FAILURE. "And I spake 
to thy disciples that they should cast 
it out; and they were not able . . . 
his disciples asked him privately, say- 
ing, We could not cast it out. And 
he said unto them, This kind can 
come out by nothing save by prayer." 

To this some MSS. add, "and fasting-." St. 
Matthew (i/ 20 ) gives another answer, or another 
part of the same answer " Because of your little 

There Is still a further consideration. Our Lord 
prepared his disciples for the fact that bad people 
also could exercise the gifts of exorcism and heal- 
ing, those "false prophets" who are not doing 
" the will of my Father which is in heaven " 

42A Mt 7 22 " Many will say to me in that day, Lord, 
Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, 
and by thy name cast out daemons, and 
by thy name do many powers? And 
then will I profess unto them, I never 
knew you: depart from me, ye that 
work iniquity." 

Here, too, how true is Christ to the facts of life ! 
We know from experience that psychic gifts are 
often possessed and exercised not only by common- 
place but also by unworthy people: all through 
history, men have tended to assume that a person 
so gifted must of necessity be saintly, and never 
perhaps was the danger more common than now 
of mistaking " powers " for goodness. Simple- 
minded people take some remarkable cure in theii 


own experience as final evidence not only of good- 
ness but also of inspiration: they accept the par- 
ticular dogma professed by the healer as infallible 
and its teacher as a prophet. On this fallacy 
flourish, and have always flourished, the impostors 
of medicine and the impostors of religion, the quacks 
and the false prophets of all ages; yet it is not per- 
haps with deliberate impostors that the peril lies at 
the present day, but rather with those, less deceiving 
than deceived, who, untrained by the discipline 
either of religious practice or of scientific study, 
are arrogant, shallow, and self-confident, and lead 
others into those futile and foolish ways which end 
in disillusion and disaster. 



IT will be noticed that in the passage from St. 
Matthew, just quoted, 1 our Lord regards healing as 
the twin-brother of preaching in ministerial work 
"Did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy 
name do many powers ? " It will also be noticed 
that he puts preaching first, as the more important of 
the two: the healing powers he regards rather as 
the natural accompaniment and support of the teach- 
ing ministry; and this is definitely stated in that re- 
markable saying from the Appendix to St. Mark, 
which must surely embody a true record 2 " And 
these signs shall follow them, that believe/' The 
signs are to follow, not to precede ; and this the un- 
known writer of the second century comes back to 
and repeats " And they went forth, and preached 1 
everywhere, the Lord working with them, and con- 
firming the word by the signs that followed." 3 

This combination of teaching and healing, with 
teaching in the first place, is the normal process of 
our Lord's own ministry. We find it mentioned 
in Nos. i and 4; we find it in the climax of the 
Message to John Baptist (No. 25): "And the 
poor have good tidings preached to them"; and it 

i See p. 186. 2 See pp. 190-1. 3 Mk. 16 17 ' 20 , 



is brought home to us by St. Matthew where he 
twice says (Xos. 23 and 24) 

" And Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, 
teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel 
of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and 
all manner of sickness." 

It was this same mission which our Lord en- 
trusted to his followers on two notable occasions 
" As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven 
is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse 
the lepers, cast out demons ; freely ye received, free- 
ly give." x How often, in our curious fashion of 
wresting " texts " from their context, has this say- 
ing, " freely ye received, freely give," been pro- 
claimed as an inducement to almsgiving! although 
the Apostles had not even brass in their purses to 
provide alms withal. 2 

Let us then set these two important instances in 
our list 

43 Mk. 6 T THE APOSTLES: "And he called unto 
him the twelve, and began to send 
them forth by two and two; and he 
gave them authority over the unclean 
spirits. . . . And they went out,* 
and preached that men should repent. 
And they cast out many d&mons, and 
anointed with oil many that were sick, 
and healed them" 

2 Of course almsgiving is taught elsewhere by Christ In 
the Httle sermon imbedded by St. Matthew in the Sermon on 
the Mount, the three universal duties of religion are taken 
for granted, " when thou doest alms," " when ye pray/* " and 
when ye fast*' 


(Lk. 9 1 ) St. Luke adds details: "And gave them 
power and authority over all daemons, 
and to cure diseases. And he sent 
them forth to preach the kingdom of 
God and to heal the sick. . . . 
And the}- departed, and went through 
the villages, preaching the gospel, and 
healing everywhere, . . . And the 
Apostles, when they were returned, 
declared unto him what things they 
had done." 

44 Lk. jo * THE SEVENTY : " Now after these things 
the Lord appointed seventy others, and 
sent them two and two before his face 
into every city and place, whither he 
himself was about to come. . . . 
Heal the sick that are therein, and 
say unto them, The kingdom of God 
is come nigh unto you. . ^ . . And 
the seventy returned with joy, saying, 
Lord, even ike demons are subject' 
unto us in thy name" 

So far then from claiming* that the healing- vir- 
tue was confined to the Divinity of his own person, 
ottr Lord gave the Twelve authority to exercise it. 
Nor did he confine this authority to the Apostles 
to use ecclesiastical language, he did not make it 
an episcopal function, but licensed no less than 
seventy of his followers to exercise the healing min- 
istry as they preached. Nor did he attempt to at- 
tract attention to his own signs ; on the contrary, he 
sent the Seventy on in front to heal the sick in those 
cities whither he himself was about to come. These 
two Instances are great and crucial : they show in a 
manner that is at once large and definite what our 
Lord's own method was of spreading the Gospel 
through his ministers. 


What means did they use? They may have 
healed in more than one manner; but only one is 
mentioned. St. Mark tells us that they used Unc- 
tion " they anointed with oil many that were 
sick, and healed them." 

One other instance of a healing commission is 
to be found in the New Testament, that, namely, in 
the Appendix to St. Mark, which \ve have as Mk, 
16 9 " 20 . It is almost certainly not the original end- 
ing to the Gospel, which may have been lost through 
the destruction of the last leaf of the MS. ; but it 
is of early date. Possibly it was added by a disciple 
or successor of St. Mark; in any case it is consid- 
ered by scholars to embody a true apostolic tradi- 
tion. 1 It, therefore, very probably preserves a 
genuine saying of Christ, a saying indeed the gen- 
eral drift of which could hardly have been in- 
vented ; 2 and if this be denied, then at least it is 
extremely valuable as illustrating the opinion of the 
Church in the second century 

44A Mk. 16 17 " And these signs shall follow them that 
believe : in my name shall they cast out 
daemons; they shall speak with new 
tongues; they shall take up serpents, 
and if they drink any deadly thing, 
it shall in no wise hurt them; they 
shall lay hands on the sick, and they 
shall recover. , . . And they went 
forth, and preached everywhere, the 
Lord working with them, and confirm- 

1 Dr. Salmond in Basting's Diet, of the Bible, III, p. 253. 

2 "Who/' says Bishop Lyttleton, "would have put into his 
mouth so unexpected a phrase," as " * these signs shall follow 
them that believe/ " signs being thus considered as the con- 
sequences among believers and not as the causes of their be- 
lief. Huhean Lectures on Miracles, 1899, pp. 76-7. 


ing the word by the signs that fol- 

Thus, at the time when this Appendix was writ- 
ten, it was believed that the grace of Christian faith 
could confer immunity from poison; and the method 
of healing" the sick, which tradition then seemed to 
contemplate, was the laying on of hands. 



List of the Miracles: The Persons who Healed; 
Faith in the Name: Methods Employed 

WE are now ready to pass to a consideration of 
the miracles recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. 
They all concern us here, since all, as has been 
already said, 1 are the works upon the body, and 
none are cosmic in character. 


45 2 43 THE APOSTLES: "Many wonders and signs 

were done by the apostles. 3 ' 2 

46 3 2 PETER AND JOHN: The Lame Man at the 

Gate Beautiful. 

47 5 12 THE APOSTLES: "By the hands of the Apos- 

tles were many signs and wonders wrought 
among the people'' 

48 5 1S PETER : A Multitude. The shadow of Peter. 

49 6 s w STEPHEN, full of grace and power 3 wrought 

great wonders and signs" 2 

50 8 7 PHILIP in Samaria. Many with unclean spir- 

its, and many that were palsied and lame. 

51 8 13 PHILIP: Simon Magus f continued with 

Philip, and beholding signs and great pow- 
ers wrought, he was amazed" 

1 See p. 183. 

2 We may take it for certain that "signs," and "wonders/* 
and " powers " in the Acts and Epistles refer to healing, cf* 
Acts 4 30 and 8 13 , and also p. 117. 



52 9 17 ANANIAS restores his sight to Saul. 

53 9 32 PETER heals ./Eneas of palsy. 

54 9 S7 PETER raises Dorcas. 

55 14 3 * PAUL AND BARNABAS at Iconium : " Granting 

signs and wonders to be done by their 

56 14 s PAUL: The Cripple at Lystra. 
14 19 PAUL recovers from Stoning. 

15 12 PAUL AND BARNABAS rehearse the " signs and 
wonders God had wrought among the Gen- 
tiles by them." Nos. 55 and 56 are instances 
of them at two of the cities in their journeys. 

59 i6 18 PAUL: Exorcism of the Maid with a Spirit of 


60 19 X1 PAUL : " Special powers by the hands of Paul 

. . . handkerchiefs or aprons" 
OOA 19 13 Failure of the Jewish exorcists. 

61 20 9 PAUL: Restoration of Eutychus. 

62 28 3 PAUL and the Viper. 

63 28 8 PAUL heals Publius of fever and dysentery. 

64 28 9 PAUL: "The rest also which had diseases in 

the Island came, and were cured!' 

Two cases, not of healing, which yet illustrate 
the Influence of spirit on body, are omitted from this 
list One is that of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 
5 1 " 11 ), as to which even extreme negative critics 
like Baur and Weizsacker admit that a genuine 
tradition underlies the narrative. The other is that 
of Elymas, the Sorcerer (Acts I3 11 ), on whom 
blindness fell at the word of St. Paul, though in- 
deed here there was the element of recovery, since 
it was only " for a season/' To these two the death 
of Herod (Acts 12 23 ) should perhaps be added. 
On the other hand I have included the incident of 
St. Paul and the Viper (No. 62), unlike all the 
other instances though it be, because the writer evi- 
dently regards it as remarkable that Paul suffered 
no harm from the serpent's fangs : we may, I think, 


safely attribute the Apostle's immunity to what 
we should nowadays call the self-suggestion of one 
who was full of the grace of God. I have also in- 
cluded as a work of healing the recovery of St. Paul 
from Stoning (No. 57) ; whether the writer means 
to imply that the disciples who came and stood 
round about him were agents in his recovery 
must be doubtful, but the incident can hardly be 
other than miraculous as it is related. One instance 
of failure (No. 6oA) will be noticed: this incident 
of the strolling Jewish exorcists who tried to use the 
name of Jesus may be classed with Nos. I7A and 
42A in the Evangelical narrative. 

The Persons who Healed 

Here then we have twenty instances, of which 
no less than half refer to multitudes; or, if we add 
the cases from the Gospels mentioned in the last 
chapter (including the Appendix to St. Mark), we 
have a total of twenty-four instances of healing 
effected by the followers of Christ, of which 
thirteen refer to multitudes. 1 In the Gospels we 
had one instance of healing by a non-disciple, one 
by the Apostles, one by the Seventy Disciples, and 
the instance of the Apostles after the Resurrection 
in the Marcan Appendix. 2 In the Acts, two in- 
stances are referred to the Apostles in general, 3 one 
to Peter and John, 4 three to Peter, 5 one to Stephen, 6 
two to Philip, 7 one to Ananias, 8 two to Paul and 

1 Nos. 43, 44, Mfl, 45, 47, 4$, 49, 5<>, Si, 55, 58, 60, 64, 

2 Nos. 42-440. 

45, 47- *4& B 48, 53, 54- 6 49- 

7 50, 51- S 52. 


Barnabas, 1 and eight to Paul alone. 2 Thus, in the 
Acts as in the Gospels, the power to heal is by no 
means confined to the Apostles, who were the pre- 
cursors of the episcopal order : besides the Apostles, 
two deacons are mentioned Stephen and Philip 
and also one, Ananias, who is described merely as 
"a certain disciple." 3 This is a point of much 
practical importance at the present day. Doctors 
have good scientific reasons for demanding the 
qualification of special training in one who prac- 
tises medicine ; but neither bishops nor priests have 
any warrant in the Christian scriptures for dis- 
countenancing laymen who may possess and exer- 
cise " gifts of healing in the one Spirit." 4 It has 
been and is perfectly within the rights of any local 
church to license selected people for the ministry of 
healing, just as it is the rule to license certain people 
(both laymen, deacons, and priests) for the minis- 
tries of preaching and catechising. The Church 
in such a case simply says, " We choose those whom 
we think properly qualified for this work, and we 
cannot be responsible for any others " ; but by so 
doing the Church would not be denying either the 
gifts or the good work of those who had not asked 
to be commissioned by her authority, Her own 
children would naturally turn to her own ministry 
of healing; and in so doing they would be acting 
-wisely and in that spirit of fellowship which is so 
important an element in catholicity. 

1 Nos. 55, 58, 

* Nos. 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64. 
a Acts 9 10 . 

* i Cor. 12 10 . 


Faith in the Power to Heal 

Although the necessity of Faith is not mentioned 
in most cases here recorded, such stress is laid upon 
it in that of the cripple at Lystra (No. 56), that 
we may suppose it to be taken generally for granted 
St. Paul, we read, " fastening his eyes upon him, 
and seeing that he had faith to be made whole, 
said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet/' 1 
In one case, that of the Lame Man at the Gate 
Beautiful (No. 46), there seems at first sight to be 
an absence of Faith ; for we are told thrice that he 
was begging for money, and even when he gave 
heed to the two Apostles, it was only because he ex- 
pected to receive something. But we must, I think, 
suppose, as we reasonably may suppose, that the 
man had faith as soon as he realised that it was his 
body and not his purse which was in question ; and 
it is noticeable that he showed a very earnest spirit 
of thankfulness (vv. 8, 9). Moreover, St. Peter 
immediately afterwards laid great stress on the 
power of faith in this case, and we can hardly doubt 
that the man's own faith is included when St. Peter 
says, in verse 16 

"And by faith in his name hath his name made this 
man strong", whom ye behold and know: yea, the faith 
which is through him hath given him this perfect sound- 
ness in the presence of you all." 

In all these twenty instances from the Acts we 
may safely assume that the disciples healed in the 
Name and by the power of Jesus Christ. This is men- 

lActs 14 *- 10 * 


tioned in No. 46, " In the name of Jesus Christ of 
Nazareth, walk," x and in No. 53, " Jesus Christ 
healeth thee : arise, and make thy bed " ; 2 and in No. 
59, " I charge thee in the name of Jesus Christ to 
come out of her"; 3 and the Lord, we are told 
very beautifully in No. 55, " bare witness unto the 
word of his grace." 4 But most completely is this 
expressed in the prayer of the Disciples after the 
release of St. Peter and St. John. 

" Grant unto thy servants to speak thy word with all 
boldness, while thou stretchest forth thy hand to heal; 
and that signs and wonders may be done through the 
name of thy holy Servant Jesus." 5 

Methods Employed 

As to the manner in which the Disciples healed, 
we have in the Acts no reference to Unction, but 
the Laying-on of Hands is mentioned in No. 52, 
when Ananias accompanied the act with a little ex- 
planatory speech, 6 and, as we find in St. Paul's 
own account, with the command, " Brother Saul, 
receive thy sight." 7 It is mentioned a second 
time in No. 63, when St. Paul prayed and then laid 
his hands on Publius. 8 

We are told of Word only three times: St. 
Peter healed ^Eneas (No. S3), 9 and St. Paul exor- 
cised the Maid (No. 59), 10 in the Name of Jesus 
Christ; but the use of the Name is not mentioned 

1 Acts 3 s . 6 Acts 9 1T . 

2 Acts 9 34 . 7 Acts 22 1S . 

* Acts 16 1S . 8 Acts 28 8 . 
4 Acts 14 3 . Acts 9 84 . 

* Acts 4 29 -*. *o Acts 16 1S . 


in No. 56 only that St. Paul told the Cripple at 
Lystra in a loud voice to stand up, and the man 
" leaped up and walked." * In this loud command, 
preceded by St. Paul " fastening his eyes upon him," 
we are rather plainly shown that suggestion was 
deliberately employed ; and, as I have already said, 2 
suggestion is just as right and normal a way of con- 
veying a message as speech or touch. 

We find, again, the use of the eyes in the heal- 
ing at the Gate Beautiful (No. 46) when St. Peter 
and St. John, after fastening their eyes upon the 
Lame Man, said, " Look on us," 3 and then St. 
Peter gave in the Name the command to walk ; but 
in this case w r e are told also that St. Peter took the 
man by the right hand and raised him up. In the 
Raising of Dorcas (No. "54), St. Peter first knelt 
down and prayed, then he said, " Tabitha, arise," 
and when she opened her eyes and sat up, he gave 
her his hand. 4 The Restoration of Eutychus (No. 
61) is a little obscure, but apparently we are in- 
tended to understand that the lad was stunned and 
not dead; him St. Paul restored by embracing. 5 

Twice we are told of healing being done in 
stranger ways than these. In No. 48 the sick were 
laid on beds and couches in the street, in order that, 
"as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might 
overshadow some one of them." 6 Here we have 
that atmosphere of enthusiastic faith in some par- 
ticular saint which to our minds is very mediaeval. 
Some writers have therefore condemned it But 

1 Acts 14 10 . 4 Acts 9 4 . 

2 See pp. 179-80. e Acts 20. 
Acts 3 4 . 6 Acts 5 i. 



there is no condemnation in the text : on the con- 
trary, it is given as the result of the increase of be- 
lievers "believers were the more added to the 
Lord . . . insomuch that they even carried out 
the sick," etc. and we can hardly doubt that the 
passage in the next sentence, " they were healed 
every one," applies to those who sought the shadow 
of Peter; that sentence is added to tell us that, in 
addition to the sick in Jerusalem, multitudes were 
brought from the towns in the neighbourhood, and 
it concludes by telling us that all were healed. 

Even more "mediaeval," as we are accustomed 
to use the word, are the " special miracles " of No. 
60 : " And God wrought special powers by the hand 
of Paul ; insomuch that unto the sick were carried 
away from his body handkerchiefs or aprons, and 
the diseases departed from them, and the evil 
spirits went out." 1 How scornful would a 
Protestant writer have been if he had come upon 
this account in some story of the thirteenth century ! 
For here is something hardly to be distinguished 
from the use of relics;* and, so far from reprehend- 
ing it, the writer of the Acts declares that God 
worked in this way and that the cures were success- 
ful. We are often told that devotion to the saints 
was a form of idolatry which grew up in corrupt 
and superstitious ages of the Church. But here in 
the- New Testament, just as in the writings of the 
earliest Fathers, we find no trace of the idea that 
God is jealous of his own servants, or that men 
fail in their duty to the Almighty when they seek 
the assistance of the saints. " No man shall come 

lActs 19". 


between me and my God " may express an excellent 
form of theism ; but it is certainly not a saying that 
expresses the mind of the first Christians either be- 
fore or after the New Testament period. For 
Christianity is a fellowship of men and women in 
Christ, a Communion of Saints, in which power is 
handed on, as one torch is lit from another; and 
when any holy man or woman helps a brother 
though it be by a bit of cloth craved from his rai- 
ment it is God who has wrought the special power 
by his hands. For God is love, and he that abideth 
in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him. 



Reserve as to Christ's Works; Reasons for this Ret- 
icence; Reserve as to the Works of the Church; 
The Eucharist and Health; Gifts of Healing. 

WHEN we turn from the Acts to the Epistles we 
are struck with the rarity of allusions to any kind 
of miracle. In the Gospels and the Acts a certain 
number are related because they are an inseparable 
part of the history that is there told ; but when we 
pass from facts to philosophy and read how the 
Disciples presented the theology of the Christian 
religion, we find in their teaching, as we have al- 
ready found in the teaching of our Lord, that signs 
and powers form hardly any part of the evidences 
to which they appeal. They are to be found occasion- 
ally; but distinctly they are "signs that follow 3 ' 
rather than signs that cause belief. To appreciate 
the force of this we have but to contrast the Apos- 
tolic arguments with those of modern writers, even 
the greatest. Butler * says that the distinct par- 
ticular reason for miracles is " to afford mankind 
instruction additional to that of nature, and to at- 
test the truth of it"; Mozley, 2 that "miracles are 

1 Analogy, Pt. II, chap. 2, 

2 Eight Lectures on Miracles (Bampton Lectures, 1865), 
1883, I, p. 5. 



necessary as the guarantee and voucher for revela- 
tion " ; Newman, 1 calls them " the most striking 
and conclusive evidence," and declares that " the 
peculiar object of a miracle is to evidence a message 
from God/' 

The Reserve as to Christ's Works 

The late Bishop Arthur Lyttleton in an interest- 
ing chapter 2 has drawn attention to this reticence of 
the Disciples, and has summarised all the instances 
that he could find of plain appeals to miracles as 
evidence in their speeches and writings : his list con- 
sists of John 2 u , 20 30 , Acts 2 22 , 10 3S , Heb. 2 4 . 
This is all; yet even of these few instances, as he 
shows, some come to very little, while one (No. B), 
as I have pointed out on p. 172, refers solely to the 
manifestations of Christ after the Resurrection. 

It may be convenient to give these in tabular 

A John 2 X1 " This beginning of his signs did Jesus 
in Cana of Galilee, and manifested 
forth his glory; and his disciples be- 
lieved on him." 

B John 20 30 " Many other signs therefore did Jesus 
in the presence p'f the disciples, which 
are not written in this book; but these 
are written, that ye may believe that 
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; 
and that believing ye may have life in 
his name/' 

1 Two Essays on the Scripture Miracles and on Ecclesias- 
tical, 1870, I, pp. 7, 10. 

2 The Place of Miracles, pp. 55, ff. 


Tliis is connected by the "therefore" 
with the appearance to St. Thomas 
which precedes it, and refers to the 
manifestation of the risen Christ to his 
disciples. 1 

C Acts 2 22 " Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of 
God tmto you by powers and wonders 
and signs." 

D Acts 10 ss "How that God anointed him with the 
Holy Ghost and with power: who 
went about doing good, and healing all 
that were oppressed of the devil; for 
God was with him." 

Here the healing works are mentioned as 
part of Christianity, but no stress is 
laid on their evidential character. 

E Heb 2 * " God also bearing witness with them, 
both by signs and wonders, and by 
manifold powers, and by distributions 
of the Holy Spirit, according to his 
own will." 

This, Lyttleton remarks, resembles the 
passage in the Marcan Appendix 
(No. 44 A) : " The Lord working 
with them, and confirming the word 
by signs following." 

Considering how large a part the healing miracles 
formed of our Lord's ministry, and how frequently 
they are mentioned in that of his Apostles, there 
could hardly be less mention of them as having 
evidential character. We can hardy conclude that 
the Apostles deliberately minimised this aspect 

1 See p. 172. 


Reasons for this Reticence, 

The reasons for this are, I think, plain, and their 
lesson most valuable at the present time. Works 
of healing followed inevitably as part of the" Apos- 
tolic faith and grace ; they were found in the train 
of the Disciples just as other works of charity 
were. " I was sick, and ye visited me/' formed one 
of the cardinal demands of the Master ; the Disciples 
did as they were bidden, and were not surprised 
that works of healing followed. Such miracles 
abounded, and they formed part of the general pic- 
ture of love and mercy which Christendom presented 
to the world. 1 But the evidence of Christendom 
was Christ: the magnet for men was his person: 
the persuasive powers of the Apostolic mission lay 
in the teaching of the Christian faith; and won- 
ders would not win those who were blind to its 
natural beauty, for " souls naturally Christian " 
would be drawn by the Gospel of love, and not 
caught or coerced by its mightiest miracles. Nor 
were they as a matter of fact caught by them : 2 the 
Pharisees met the argument from miracles by a 
simple reference to Beelzebub ; 3 and Herod, when 
he heard of Christ's power, said, "John, whom I 
beheaded, he is risen " and went on being 
Herod. 4 When our Lord's enemies asked for a 
convincing sign, he said, " There shall no sign be 
given unto this generation " ; 5 and when his friends 

i Harnack's chapter on " The Gospel of Love and Charity " 
in the early Church may well be read in this connection. 
Expansion of Christianity, II, 3. 

12 87 . 4 Mk. 6 16 . 

8 12 . 


asked for a sign, he told them of a sacrament. 1 
Furthermore, we may say it reverently and truly 
of our Lord and his Apostles that they were gentle- 
men, and therefore could not blazon their powers 
abroad. How could one get up to-day and say, 
"Look at the wonderful works that I am doing! 
Now you must accept my religion, when you see 
how mighty a healer I am ! " And if this would 
be impossible for the average decent person of our 
generation, why should we wonder that it was im- 
possible for the Apostles of Christ? Indeed, that 
same reticence, that same modesty, that same readi- 
ness to run out into the desert rather than endure the 
buffeting of popular applause, has been one of the 
most elementary signs of holiness, from the days of 
our Lord's own example to those of the Church's 
good men in the present age. 

Not only have the saints thus always shunned 
publicity, but there has always been a real fear lest 
mighty works should mislead at the hands of the 
wicked ; in all ages the Church has refused to claim 
a monopoly in wonders and powers. Men have 
indeed exaggerated their fears in the many concep- 
tions of black magic; and yet surely the fear itself 
has a firm and lasting basis, because spiritual forces 
may be misused, great gifts prostituted, and strange 
conquests of pain wrought by the unworthy. It is 
not all false prophets who fail like the seven sons of 
Sceva ; many will be able to say, " Lord, Lord, did 
we not do many mighty works?" on whom the 
designation will yet be fixed " Ye that work in- 
iquity"! 2 

ijn. 6 3 . 2 See p. 186. 


It would then have been most rash and unwise 
had the Apostles taught that they were to be be- 
lieved because they had strange powers, and thus 
have led men to think that all who can heal should 
be believed. We should, indeed, have to hold oddly 
contrarient faiths if we believed all that is told us 
from opposite quarters with the same credentials; 
and it is wise to mistrust those who treat healing as 
an advertisement for their creed. We can only 
tell the prophets by our Lord's way, knowing them 
by their fruits; and when we find those fruits of' 
the Spirit love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kind-' 
ness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self- 1 
control then in truth there may be something to ' 

Yet the very existence of such fruits of joy, < 
and peace, and self-control, for instance makes 1 
greatly for health ; and where there is faith, religion ' 
can also heal. So it is no paradox to say that the 
Apostles made little of their works, and yet that 
these were an essential part of their mission. They 
also made little of their virtues. 

So it was. St. Fatal healed a cripple at Lystra, 
and immediately afterwards preached, basing the 
truth of Christianity on natural religion without a 
word about miracles. 1 St. Peter in his second 
Epistle 2 gives a description of Gospel evidences 
without a word about miracles. St. John and St. 
Paul several times in their Epistles summarise the 
evidence of Christianity without a word about 
miracles. Twice St. Paul 3 enumerates special 

lActs 14 17 . s Rom. 12 - 8 . 

2 2 Pet. 


Christian gifts, and once St. Peter, 1 without men- 
tion of the gifts of healing; and the letters whidb 
give the fullest information about the work of the 
ministry the Pastoral Epistles are equally 
silent on this subject. 

So it was with them all. St. Stephen wrought 
great wonders and signs among the people: yet, 
when it came to controversy, he used argument 
alone, and his triumph was due to ** the wisdom and 
the Spirit by which he spake." 2 So it was. They 
could not go about without healing the sick; yet 
they preached, not themselves nor their own works, 
but Christ and not the miracles of Christ, but his 
goodness and his glory. 

"The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear 
witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal life, 
which was with the Father, and was manifested unto 
us." 3 

They preached the kingdom and they healed the 
sick, as they had been commanded. They healed 
the sick because they preached the Kingdom of God, 
just as they were kind to the poor because they 
preached that holy kingdom. And this was indeed 
a witness to their mission. A man does certain 
things because he is a gentleman; but he does not 
say, " See, I am a gentleman because I do these 
things " ; yet they are a sufficient and final witness 
to the fact ; they are " signs following/' and they 
proclaim to others that it is a good thing to be a 
gentleman since the results are fine and honourable. 

The witness of healing, then, is and was invalu- 

i Pet. 4 7-n. ' 2 Acts 6 10. 3 i Jno. i 


able. And perhaps for this reason more than any 
other that it shows people who are always apt 
to believe only in ponderable materialities, how real 
and great are the spiritual forces: "That ye may 
know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to 
forgive sins, he saith to the sick of the palsy, ' I 
say unto thee, Arise, take up thy bed/ " 1 

Reserve as to the Works of the Church 

Let us now for the sake of completeness tabu- 
late together those few passages in the Epistles 
which refer to health and healing 

F Rom. is ld "By word and deed, in the power of 

signs and wonders, in the power of 

the Holy Ghost/ 3 
G i Cor. ii 30 "For this cause many among you are 

weak and sickly, and not a few sleep/* 
H i Cor. 12 9 " And to another gifts of healing in the 

one Spirit." 
" i Cor. 12 2S "Thirdly teachers, then powers, then 

gifts of healings." 
" i Cor. 12 20 " Are all teachers ? Are all workers of 

powers? Have all gifts of healing?" 
I 2 Cor. 12 T " There was given to me a thorn in the 


J 2 Cor. 12 12 " Truly the signs of an apostle . . 
by signs and wonders and powers." 

K Gal. 3 5 "He therefore that supplieth to you the 

Spirit, and worketh powers among 

L Jas. 5 14 " Is any among you sick ? let him call 
for the elders of the church; and let* 
them pray over him, anointing him 
with oil in the name of the Lord/' 

9 (No. 6). 


M 3 John 2 " Beloved, I pray that in all things thou 
mayest prosper and be in health, even 
as thy soul prospereth." 

To these we might perhaps add the following- 
benediction, most beautiful and complete as it is, 
though strangely omitted from liturgical use, which 
expresses perfectly the profound relation between 
religion and that tripartite nature of man which we 
have already discussed. 1 Would that the religious 
world had never misused the word "soul/' and 
that we could recover into common use the termi- 
nology of St. Paul ! We may labour to express -the 
three "levels" more scientifically, but how much 
less happy are our efforts ! 

"The God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and 
may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, 
without blame at the presence of our Lord Jesus 
Christ" 2 

We may, I think, safely take Nos. F, J, and K 
in the above list as referring to works of healing, or 
at least as including them. It will be noticed that 
the powers are not ascribed directly to the Name of 
Jesus, as more than once in the Acts ; but in Nos. F, 
H, and K, they are referred to the working of the 
Holy Spirit. It will also be noticed that only in 
No. H is healing directly mentioned: possibly the 
wonders and powers of Nos. F, J, and K are meant 
to describe more exceptional and extraordinary 
cases of healing, since in each instance they are 

2 i Thess. 5 23 , Marg.; the text of the R. V. gives "com- 
ing" for " presence," which latter is, however, the literal 


mentioned by St. Paul as marks of his apostleship. 
Of these instances, No. M is of little importance 
for our purpose it is, indeed, the only one that 
expresses just what a nineteenth-century Christian 
would have said, and it docs not go further. But 
four instances require special mention, namely 
Nos. G, H, I, and L. Let us take G and H in this 
chapter, giving the " Thorn in the Flesh " a chapter 
to itself, and reserving 'the Anointing of the Sick 
for Chapters XXII and XXIII. 

The Eucharist and Health, 

First, then, let us take the Eucharistic passage, 
No. G, which is of high importance, because in it 
St. Paul states clearly the effect of a sacrament 
upon bodily health. A man, he says, who receives 
the Eucharist "unworthily" (which the context 
shows to mean in a disorderly and irreverent man- 
ner) is "guilty of the Body and Blood of the 
Lord"; for by not rightly discerning 1 (8ia/cpwi>v) 
the Body, he brings judgment (*p//*a) upon him- 
self; and then he proceeds 

" For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, 
and not a few sleep/' 

And he goes on to say that " when we are judged, 
we are chastened of the Lord." The whole Epistle 

iMore literally, "discriminating." In English we lose the 
play upon the word "judg^e," which runs all through the 
passage (verses 28-34), "judgment," "discern/* "judged," 
"condemned," being all derivatives of Kpiva. In the A. V. 
the matter is made much worse by the use of the word " dam- 
nation/ 1 


is one of those books of the Njew Testament which 
the most destructive critics have admitted to be 
genuine; there is no escape from its teaching here, 
except on the improbable assumption that St. Paul 
was using metaphor. He states definitely that the 
unworthy reception of the Holy Communion pro- 
duces a lowering of physical vitality. If what we 
have said hitherto be true, we should expect this to 
happen, since spiritual things affect both the spirit 
and soul of man, and it is the hidden part of his 
soul, in the undermind, which controls the functions 
of the body. The effect of this lowering- of a man's 
intrinsic vitality could not be better expressed 
he becomes "weak and sickly." Apparently St. 
Paul means also to suggest that some have died 
because of this, " not a few sleep/* 

A Sacrament, we may conclude, rightly received, 
raises the vitality and thus strengthens the body. It 
is a means of healing; and to this we bear witness 
whenever our English form for the reception of 
Holy Communion is used " The Body of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, pre- 
serve thy body and soul unto everlasting life." 

Gifts of Healing 

In the next chapter of the same Epistle we find 
the important passages which we ha!ve classed to- 
gether as No. H, the only occasion in the Epistles, 
outside St. James, where healing is mentioned by 
name. To understand its exact value, we must re- 
member that in St. Paul's view every member of 
the Church possessed one or more gifts, or charis- 


mata, because he had received the Holy Ghost. 1 
These gifts were thus the " manifestation of the 
Spirit" to each person: 2 they varied very much in 
character, and St. Paul evidently did not regard the 
abnormal charismata as more valuable than the 

" For to one is given through the Spirit the word of 
wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, accord- 
ing to the same Spirit; to another faith, in the same 
Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one 
Spirit; and to another workings of powers; and to an- 
other prophecy," etc. 

St. Paul, then, attributed all these gifts to the 
Holy Spirit: he believed that some had definitely 
the work of healing conferred upon them; and he 
distinguishes from this ministry the working of 
" powers " (mistranslated " miracles "), which may 
here refer to exorcism and generally to the more 
mysterious influences of spirit on body. I have 
already said above that " powers " seem to be 
reckoned above ordinary healing, as something 
which could form one of the evidences of Apostle- 
ship. They are mentioned before healing in St. 
Paul's order, which thus seems to show that he 
placed teaching above both powers and healing 

" And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, 
secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then powers, then 
gifts of healings, helps, wise counsels, divers kinds of 

Two things stand out for us in this graduation 
of the gifts. First, St. Paul did not make of the 

1 1 Cor. 7 7 . 2 1 Cor. 12 r . 


Church a society that appealed to healing as its all- 
important manifestation; the Church was not like 
some modern sects that are " run " almost exclu- 
sively on their cures : healing is just one of the use- 
ful works, one of the " signs following," and it occu- 
pies with " powers " a middle position. But, sec- 
ondly, this very fact rebukes our modern unbelief, 
for nothing could be more at variance with St. 
Paul's view than the modern idea of " miracles " as 
something strange and unnatural and confined to 
the first stages of the Church. St. Paul evidently 
regards them as ordinary manifestations, inherent 
in that outpouring of the Spirit which is of the 
essence of the Church ; and he thinks it more diffi- 
cult to be a good bishop than to work " miracles," 
which, no doubt, is the case. 

The passage contains one more definite principle 
of the greatest practical value to us. St Paul re- 
gards it as self-evident that these charismata of 
healing are not possessed by all alike . 

"Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? 
are all workers of powers ? have all gifts of healings ? " 

Incidentally this shows .that St. Paul did not 
regard the gift of healing as only the exercise of the 
power of prayer and holiness : all can help to heal in 
this way, every good friend of a sick man can add 
to the power of recovery by the effectual fervent 
prayer of a just man but St. Paul knows that 
above this is a wonderful " gift " which is not pos- 
sessed by all. 

Such a gift most people have felt in its ele- 
mentary form, when they have discovered that 


among their friends there was one whose hand's 
touch could allay pain. There are some whose very 
presence is prophylactic; they have the power by 
nature, and all very saintly people seem to have it 
also in some degree by grace; and those who are 
naturally endowed with it may by grace strengthen 
it into a most efficient gift. For grace is like a 
garden to the seed ; it brings to life potential excel- 
lences till they burst into efflorescence. Not only in 
the Christian Church, indeed, are fine flowers to be 
found: they exist everywhere., since God is good 
and his Spirit is over all his works; there were 
prophets before the Church, there are teachers out- 
side it; helps and wise counsels have been found 
among the heathen, and so has healing. Yet these 
things are marks of Christian grace, and St. Paul 
could speak of them as manifestations of the Spirit, 
for when a man by baptism and the laying-on of 
hands became a full inheritor of the heavenly King- 
dom, he was dowered with new power and brought 
forth from his treasure-house things new and old. 



ST, PAUL was not ignorant of the power by which 
the spirit can bring succour to the body. He had 
healed many people, and he had himself experi- 
enced a signal instance of this supremacy in his own 
body, on that rainy morning when he had stood 
by the fire with the kindly barbarians in the island 
of Melita, and the viper had leaped out and fas- 
tened upon his hand. But he knew the other side 

" And by reason of the exceeding- greatness of the reve- 
lations wherefore, that I should not be exalted over- 
much, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger 
of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted 
overmuch. Concerning this thing I besought the 
Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he hath 
said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my 
power is made perfect in weakness." * 

Here is an affliction which St. Paul thrice prayed 
to have removed, and his prayer was answered in 
another way. From this passage and from Gal. 
4 l *~ 19 it is now generally agreed that the " thorn for 
the flesh" (cr/eoAoi/r 7^ o-a/o/ct) was a physical dis- 1 
ease, recurrent at intervals. Many have thought it 
to be a form of epilepsy such as Julius Caesar, 

1 2 Cor. 12 7 -, 



Alfred the Great, Peter the Great, and Napoleon 
also suffered from a maladie des grands. But 
this is merely a hypothesis; and we have no real 
grounds for knowing what the illness was : we only 
know that it was the result of the tremendous spirit- 
ual exaltation which St. Paul had experienced four- 
teen years before this was written, 1 when he was 
caught up into the third heaven. 

We find so much in the New Testament about 
the helping of the body by the soul, that this oppo- 
site example is of peculiar interest. For here the 
body is hurt and not helped by the very intensity of 
the spirit. The nerves have never recovered from 
the terrific strain of fourteen years ago, and the 
Apostle is still subject to recurrent seizures. The 
spirit indeed reacts upon the body, but here it has 
reacted harmfully. 

If any reasonable person should need proof of 
the fact that goodness does not of necessity bring 
health, here it is. We find sickness often enough 
blighting the best people, and this not through 
any want of faith in the power of healing. St. Paul 
is one of a, large company of saints like Catharine 
of Siena, who healed others, and herself died at 
the age of 33, broken by the travail of her soul. 

These men and women won supremacy for their 
spirits, if any one did; they soared far above the 
arena of bodily suffering, and none might have 
written more truly 

"I am the master of my fate: 
I am the captain of my soul/' 

1 2 Cor. 12 1-0. 


St. Paul's very sickness, distressing and disfigur- 
ing as it was, had been the means of his converting 
the Galatians, when illness had forced him to break 
his journey and to stay among them for a while 1 ; 
and he could say with perfect sincerity to the Co- 
rinthians "Most gladly therefore will I rather 
glory in my weaknesses, that the strength of Christ 
may cover me." 2 

This surely is the message of the Christian faith 
to those who suffer : it does indeed come to relieve 
that suffering, and it comes to battle with sin, 
which is the ultimate cause of human pain ; but it 
would be a poor religion indeed if it were merely 
commensurate with the curing of sickness, and had 
no grasp of life's harsh realities, no balm for ir- 
remediable pain, no alchemy for utter sorrow of 
heart, no absolution for sin, no conquest over death. 
The aim of Christianity is the destruction of sin and 
folly, and sickness, the bringing of both body and 
soul into conformity with the ways of God's laws 
and the works of his commandments. But, till the 
time when Christ shall have put all enemies under 
his feet, there will be pain; and the good will suffer 
for the bad. 

The good suffer often by their own free-will, 
while the calculated selfishness of bad men will often 
preserve them in health and save them from much 
pain. After all, St. Paul's manner of living was 
not hygienic 

te Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save 
one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, 
thrice I suffered shipwrecks, a night and a day have I 

1 Gal. 4 13 . * 2 Cor. 12 . 


been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, 
in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in 
perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in 
the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false 
brethren; in labour and travail, in watchings often, in 
hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and naked- 
ness. Besides those things that are without, there is that 
which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the 
churches." 1 

Beside this the " Don't worry " gospel seems 
rather incomplete. That gospel is indeed most true, 
and is much needed to-day, only there is still 
room for sacrifice and there is still a call for mar- 
tyrs. Bread is good, but we may be called to give 
it to the poor; -a warm cloak may save us from 
death, but Christ may ask us for it in the rags of a 
beggar; we may be tormented with thirst, and yet 
may be required to pass on the cup of cold water to 
another because " his necessity is greater than 
mine/' Health is very good, but a man may cast it 
away in the service of others. 

Pain remains, and the problem of pain; atad the 
strength of Christendom is that pain has never been 
evaded within her borders. She has borne in her 
body the marks of the Lord Jesus, and has signed 
mankind with the sign of the cross. She has known 
that through pain and through sorrow the rarest 
and most splendid powers of the soul come into 

Yet there are whole schools of thought to whom 
the last word of really spiritual religion is that 
people should murmur to themselves, " Health, 
Wealth, Beauty/' while they are dressing in the 

*2 Cor. 11*4-28. 


morning. We need hardly do more than set this 
comfortable gospel In contrast with the New Testa- 
ment ; for the general human instinct is still healthy 
enough to recoil instinctively from such crude idola- 
try. Yet we do need to remember that books 
inculcating thought of this kind are having an 
enormous circulation, and appear natural and right 
in many circles which have been dechristianized by 
the gospel of getting on and the prevalent worship 
of Mammon. 

Here are some curious examples 

** Just rise into the realm I AM, and by imagination and 
affirmation pump yourself full of I AM power. I AM 
wisdom, I AM love. I AM whatever I desire to be. ALL 
things work together for the manifestation of what I 

"All life is growth, and a live ideal is no exception. 
Let it grow. Stretch your imagination to take in all you 
can. When you find yourself approaching the 5,opo-dol- 
lar-a-year mark you have set for yourself, you will find 
yourself wanting 10,000 dollars. Now don't accuse your- 
self of never being satisfied. Just rejoice in this evi- 
dence of spiritual growth, and go in to win on a larger 
scale." * 

"The Solar Plexus is the radiating centre of life, the 
centre from which flows the divine energy. . . We 
must learn to control the action of the Solar Plexus, just 
as we learn to control the action of the fingers in learn- 
ing to play the piano." 3 

"Inhale slowly, but not too slowly; just easily; as you 
inhale, say mentally, with eyes raised under your closed 
lids, I AM say it slowly and distinctly, and try quietly 

1 E. Towne, Joy Philosophy, 1903, p. 9. 

2 Ibid., p. 50. 

3 E. Towne, Just how to Wake the Solar Plexus, 1904, pp, 


to realize that the Infinite is really yoti. . . . This 
same exercise, used with the words, ( I AM money' is the 
finest treatment for opulence/' 1 

Surely the record of Christ's Temptation in the 
Wilderness was given us precisely to guard against 
such prostitution of the soul as this " If thou be 
the Son of God, command that these stones be 
made bread," and " All these things will I give 
thee." For the highest powers can be abused to the 
vilest ends, and it was not an accident that our Lord 
had to choose at the outset whether he would spend 
the virtue which was in him for others or for him- 
self : he did choose, and he said, " Get thee hence, 

Perhaps if this sanctification of selfishness 
spreads, certain sections of American society may 
reach the condition so brilliantly imagined in But- 
. ler's Erewhon, where criminals are carefully tended 
by the doctor, while sick persons are severely pun- 
ished for the offence of being ill ; and then, it may 
be, people will ask again when a man is afflicted, 
" Who did sin, this man, or his parents? " 

It is time to restore the balance of our thoughts 
and to broaden our conception of Christianity. Re- 
ligion does make for health, but to be ill is not 
therefore to be irreligious: both these truths are 
self-evident enough, yet both need pressing at the 
present day; for, whilei the majority of people 
easily become confused by a new idea, there is a 
strong minority which is ready to ride that idea to 
death ; and therefore it is necessary to reiterate the 
truisms (i) that a man is often ill through his 
1 E. Towne, Just how to Wake the Solar Plexus, pp. 25, 26. 


own fault, but it does not follow that it is a man's 
own fault when he is ill; and (2) that the increase 
of spirituality will promote health, but it does not 
follow that healthiness is a sign of spirituality. 

There is a notable passage in the Prayer Book 
Litany wherein we pray God " to forgive us all 
our sins, negligences, and ignorances/' and ask for 
the grace of the Holy Spirit to amend our lives. 
Now, if we include thus negligences and igno- 
rances as faults that need forgiveness, and there- 
fore as a form of sin, I think it may be true that all 
disease is ultimately the result of sin though 
not, of course, immediately: it is, -for instance, 
culpable ignorance to spit in the streets, and 
phthisis is the result ; but a person may thus spread 
the tubercle bacillus and never suffer from the dis- 
ease himself, while thousands die every year from 
this preventible scourge through the unclean habits 
of others. 

Much disease, including all the " filth diseases," 
is thus caused by negligence. A vast amount also 
continues because of an ignorance that is as 
culpable, because it is due to our selfishness in not 
properly equipping scientific investigation. If this 
were only done, says Professor Ray Lankester, 1 
" it is a matter of practical certainty that, by the 
unstinted application of known methods of investi- 
gation and consequent controlling action, all epi- 
demic disease could be abolished within a period 
so short as fifty years." 

To sin in its gravest sense are directly due alco- 
holism and one other scourge of which the same 

1 The Kingdom of Man (1907), p. 3& 


writer says 1 " This malady and the use of alcohol 
as a beverage are together responsible for more 
than half the disease and early death of the mature 
population of Europe/ 5 

There is thus the closest connection between 
disease and sin ; but even here there is another side 
to be remembered. It appears that if there were 
no doctors and no hospitals, and no care of the 
weak and sickly, and no civilization, there would 
be little disease, for the simple reason that there 
would be so few susceptible persons left: there 
seems to be none in those animals that are en- 
tirely free from human interference " diseases 
ajre unknown as constant and normal phenomena 
under those conditions." 2 In Nature the fittest 
have survived, and parasites have served a pur- 
pose in strengthening the race by sweeping the 
unfit out of existence. Man has emancipated him- 
self from these methods of natural selection ; he has 
preserved vast populations of his own kind, as well 
as animals and plants, which Nature would have 
exterminated. If he had not done this he would be 
less than man ; but because he has done it, he, and 
the animals he is in contact with, are liable to the 
ravages of the micro-organisms which he partly 
holds at bay. His battle is not yet won. Thus not 
only is it to sin that disease is due, but also in part 
to Man's very virtues, and to his wisdom, because his 
wisdom is incomplete. 

This wisdom is growing in spite of our cul- 
pable " negligences and ignorances " : and it grows 

1 The Kingdom of Man (1907), P- 37- 
p. 33. 


through the grace of God's Holy Spirit; for there 
is no wisdom that is not of God, and the Spirit of 
God is the spirit of wisdom and knowledge and 
understanding. In forty years man's wisdom has 
reduced the deaths from phthisis in London by one- 
half. Fifty years hence it may have been entirely 
destroyed through the generosity, the sacrifice, the 
zeal, and the love of truth which God gives to his 
servants; for these scientific victories are moral 
victories after all, and not the least of the sins of 
humanity is the opposition which has so often been 
offered to science in the name of religion. 

But it may be urged, Could not such a disease be 
destroyed by purely spiritual means? I would not 
allow that the passionate researches of a Pasteur 
are unspiritual ; but still I might answer Possibly 
if we were all saints or " supermen." Only, God 
does not seem to will that we should work by such 
means alone. It is indeed conceivable that a 
" mental " aristocracy might arise which by quasi- 
spiritual developments had fortified itself against 
all parasitic invasion, and would look down in con- 
temptuous and inactive pity on the struggling 
masses who had no leisure to attain this mastery. I 
think in such a case God would be on the side of 
the patient " material " scientists, and it would not 
be long before the biggest Pharisaism of history 
had been rolled into the dust. 

So we have to keep our vision broad, knowing 
that, do what we can, it will still be infinitely nar- 
rower than the vision of our Maker. Body and 
soul, science and faith, cleanliness and godliness, 
the culture of the spirit and the search for anti- 


toxins all have their use and place. The Church 
can absolve sin and heal disease, and science can 
do much to prevent both ; for God fulfils himself in 
many ways. 

Faith did not cure all diseases in the age of the 
Apostles, but then neither has Medicine in the age 
of Harley Street. Some thorns for the flesh resist 
both methods ; yet both persevere and are not baffled 
by failure. And man yearly snatches new territory 
from the domain of disease, by scientific research 
and by medical skill, by hard-won victories over lust 
and intemperance, by the reduction of luxury and 
the redemption of poverty, by the promotion of a 
peaceful and harmonious spirit in these fretful 
modern days, by increasing the grace of the Holy 
Ghost among men who are weary of materialism 
and by the direct gift of Christian healing. In such 
ways man uses goodness, care, and wisdom to over- 
come the results of our sins, negligences, and igno- 

But when all is said for all the means by which 
man wages war against sickness whether it be 
by moral regeneration or by social reform, by the 
preaching of the prophet, the ministration of the 
priest, or the care of the practitioner, and whatever 
share is borne by surgery or by medicine, by hypno- 
tism or by the higher powers of the dominating 
Spirit by patient scientific research or by the 
practice of the Presence of God the problem of 
pain remains, and the merciful function of pain r 
which is the spur in the flanks of humanity. 

If St. Paul had been a lesser man, he would have 
had no thorn, for there would have been no vision 


to strain the fibre of his nerves. And if he had 
had no thorn to bear, he would have been a lesser 
man ; for he was made perfect by his suffering. 

And there are some in every age, and will be 
always, who sacrifice their health in the service of 
others, and lay down their life for their friends. 

So much for the present, and for a long future. 
There are many thorns mingled with the roses, and 
to some the very tree of life seems to be a briar, 
bereft of every blossom. Yet there can be no 
doubt as to the Pattern whither we are tending. 
Christianity is the faith in a new heaven and a new 
earth, the first heaven and the first earth being 
passed away; and the Incarnation in its eternal 
aspect is the progressive tabernacling of God in 
humanity, till the World shall become the Church 
which is the Body of Christ 

66 Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he 
shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and 
God himself shall be with them, and be their God: and 
he shall wipe away every*tear from their eves; and death 
shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor 
crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed 
away. And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I 
make all things new," 



The Teaching of St. James; Growth of the Medir 
aval View; Roman Catholic Teaching 

The Teaching of St. James 

THE last instance from the Apostolic teaching- (No. 
L) is in some ways the most important, since it led 
to the establishment of a definite rite for the healing 
of the sick 

" Is any among you suffering ? let him pray. Is any 
cheerful? let him sing praise. Is any among you sick? 
let him call for the elders of the Church; and let them 
pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the 
Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, 
and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have commit- 
ted sins, it shall be forgiven him. Confess therefore 
your sins one to another, and pray one for another that 
ye may be healed. . . . The supplication of a right- 
eous man availeth much in its working." x 

This, with the passage in St. Mark (No. 43), 
" and anointed with oil many that were sick, and 
healed them/* is the only reference in the New 
Testament to Unction, but a command so clear and 
practical from our Lord's brother and apostle natu- 
rally produced important results. 

It is exceedingly important to observe that, ao 

1 Jas. s 1 *-^. 



cording to St. James, Unction is for the healing of 
the body, and not for the remission of sins. The 
Apostle is describing two classes of people (a) the 
sick, and (b) those who are not only sick but also 
in grievous sin. 

This is clearer in the Revised than in the Author- 
ised Version : it may be made still clearer by a close 
translation, thus 

(a) "Is any among you sick? let Mm call for the 
presbyters of the Church; and let them pray over him, 
anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord, and the 
prayer of faith shall make the sick man whole, and the 
Lord shall raise him up; 

(&) "and if he have committed sins, remission shall 
be imparted to him: confess therefore your sins one to 
another, and pray one for another, that ye may be 

(a) The sick man is thus to be anointed in order 
that " the prayer of faith shall save him," i.e., save 
him from sickness; for this is the normal meaning 
of crwen/ and the word is often translated " to make 
whole" in the English New Testament 1 "And 
the Lord shall raise him up": again a word is 
used ey/pe/ which is constantly employed of the 
miracles of healing. 2 Obvious as this is, it is worth 
mentioning, because, through a slip of mediaeval 
copyists, the Latin of the Vulgate has a word for 
eyepet which can bear the sense of " comfort " 
(alleviabif) and thus Roman Catholic writers have 

1 e.g., Mt. 921-22, if i d b ut touc h hi s g arm ent I shall 
be made whole . . thy faith hath made thee whole 
. t . . and the woman was made whole :" in each case 
fffyfuv is the word used. 

2 e.g., Mt. 9 5 , " Arise (yP) and walk." 


generally said that the meaning is " the Lord shall 
comfort the soul of the sick man." A good deal 
of the current Roman teaching about Unction is 
due to this mistake. 

(&) St. James then goes on to describe a second 
class of sick persons those who have sins * upon 
their consciences. When a sick man is in this con- 
dition he is to confess his sins, in order that " for- 
giveness may be imparted to him," d^e^o-cTat aw<5, 
in accordance with the Lord's commission 
" whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven 
unto them," z where the same word is used for for- 
giveness or remission. It is not the Unction which 
conveys this remission, but Absolution following 
on confession of the sin. Two separate things are 
therefore described here Unction for the body 
and Absolution for the soul. 

It is most necessary to insist on this distinction, 
because by the Middle Ages men had come to 
think of Unction as conveying remission of sins; 
and thus it was that the idea of Unction as healing 
the body was bit by bit lost sight of. How all this 
came about can be studied in Father Puller's book 
on The Anointing of the Sick? This is not the 
place for a long technical discussion: in Father 
Puller's work the authorities will be found arranged 
with admirable clearness and erudition. None the 
less, a short statement may be useful here. 

1 Sins of a serious character, by-aprta,*, not merely " faults/ 1 
as in the A. V. which follows a later and less accurate text 

2 Jn. 20 28 . 

8 Church Historical Society, The Anointing of the Sicfy ifl 
Scripture and Tradition, by F, W. Puller; London, Society 
for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, 1904. 


Growth of the Medi&ual View 
Father Puller says 

" During the first seven centuries of our era, the cus- 
tom of praying over sick people and anointing them 
with holy oil continued without any break." x 

In the eighth century there is also evidence that 
healing was expected to follow, and in the tenth. 2 
And again 

" I can find no trace in the first seven centuries _of sick 
people being- anointed for the remission of their sins, 
or for the removal of the reliquie of sin, or to impart 
to them grace enabling them to die happily or coura- 
geously/' 3 

"I find no evidence of persons in articulo mortis be- 
ing anointed with the object of preparing them for- 

In the period which we can easily remember by 
connecting it with the famous date, A. D. 800, the 
year of Charlemagne's accession, a change began. 
Bishop Theodulph of Orleans issued, c. 800, a pas- 
toral instruction on Unction, which "reads like a 
manifesto issued with the object of introducing- a 
new observance/' in which Unction is ordered to be 
administered as a preparation for death. 5 

In the Councils of Chalon-sur-Saone (813) and 

1 Church Historical Society, The Anointing of the Sick in 
Scripture and Tradition, by F- W. Puller, p. 188. No cer- 
tain instances, however, have been found in the records of 
the second century, till Tertullian's case, A.P. 193*211. See 
p. 252. 

2 Puller, Ibid., p. 201, u. I. 

* Puller, Ibid., p. 191. 

* Puller, Ibid., p. 192. 

* Puller, Ibid., pp. 193-4- 


of Pavia (850) the idea that Unction conveys re- 
mission of sins is recognised. 1 It has grown up 
during the eighth and ninth centuries, and since the 
year 716, when it was still unknown. 

The transition period, during which the primitive 
and the mediaeval ideas existed together, had closed 
by c.' 1151, when Peter Lombard limited the Sacra- 
ments to the mystical number seven, Unction being' 
included among them ; and his great influence over 
subsequent writers till the sixteenth century led to 
this enumeration being generally accepted, first in 
the West and a century later in the East. 2 

Owing to that conservatism which is natural and 
constant in matters liturgical, the mediaeval service- 
books represented, and the present Roman service 
still represents, the transitional view of the ninth 
century, prayers for bodily healing being retained 
in a secondary place. The Council of Trent, how- 
ever, in 1551 went a step further, established Peter 
Lombard's view as binding upon the Roman Church, 
and laid almost all the stress on the mediaeval view 
that Unction exists to prepare the sick man's soul' 
for death. 

What that mediaeval view was may be illustrated 
by two typical extracts. Archbishop Peckham's 
Manual, In his Constitutions of 1281, lays it down 

" There are Seven Sacraments of the Church, the power 
of administering which is committed to the clergy. Five 
of these -Sacraments ought to be received by all Chris- 
tians in general ; that is, Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, 
the Holy Eucharist and Extreme Unction, which last is 

* The Anointing of the Sick, by F. W. Puller, pp. 72-8, 
2 Puller, Ibid., pp. 251-264. 


only for one who seems to be in danger of death; it 
should be given, if it may be, before a man is so far 
spent as to lose the use of his reason ; but if he happens 
to be seized by a frenzy, or suffer from any alienation 
of rnind, this Sacrament ought nevertheless to be admin- 
istered to him, provided he gave signs of a religious dis- 
position before his mind was disturbed. Under such- 
qualifications Extreme Unction is believed to be benefi- 
cial to the sick person, provided he be a child of predes-' 
tination, and either procures him a lucid interval or some 
spiritual advantage" i 

Again, even the enlightened Dean Colet in his 
manual of instruction, called the Catechyzon, which 
was drawn tip about 1510, gives the following 
statement about Unction in the section on the 
Seven Sacraments 

" vii. By gracypus Enealynge [unction] and the last 
anoynynge, we be in our dethe commended to God." 2 

Roman Catholic Teaching 

It may now be advisable to say a little more 
about the present position of Roman Catholics, who 
are of course bound by the decisions of the Council 
of Trent. That Council, by sanctioning the medi- 
aeval departure from Apostolic and primitive teach- 
ing on the subject, leads to curiously inconsistent 
views. The Decree, while providing a sentence 
about the health of the body " when it is expedient 
for the salvation of the soul/' quotes the Vulgate 
mistranslation of "the Lord shall raise him up/' 
and pushes it farther in the wrong direction, so 
that it becomes "alleviates the soul of the sick 

iLyndewode, Provincials. The italics are, of course, our 

2 Lupton, Life of Colet, p. 287. 


person " ; and it claims principally for Unction that 
it remits unforgiven sins and the "remains" of 
sin. 1 Yet this remission of sins is reduced to a 
nullity by the order in the Rituale Romamtm that 
Penance is to be administered (if the sick man's con- 
dition permit) before Extreme Unction. Thus no 
reliance is placed upon Unction for the remission 
of sins: they have, if possible, to be remitted pre- 
viously by Absolution. Yet in the Roman Ritual, 
the words used at the solemn anointing of the dif- 
ferent parts of the body refer solely to the remission 
of sins committed through those organs. 2 But, at 
the same time, prayers for recovery exist in other 
parts of the service 3 which are much more definite 
than the vague " contingent " hope of the Council 
of Trent, because this service is much older than that 
Council, and represents an earlier stage when the 
Apostolic precepts had been kept more in view. 

1 Here are the words referred to from the Decree of the 
Council of Trent on Extreme Unction, caput ii: '* ' Et oratio 
fidei salvabit infirmum; et alleviabit eum Dominus: et, si in 
peccatis sit dimittentur ei. 'Res etenenim hsec gratia est 
Spiritus sancti; cujus unctio delicta, si qua sint adhuc ex- 
pianda, ac peccati reliquias abstergit; et segroti animam al- 
leviat, et confirmat, magnam in eo divinae misericordiae 
fiduciam excitando; qua infirmus sublevatus et morbi in- 
commoda, ac labores leyius fert; et tentationibus daemonis, 
calcaneo insidiantis, facilius resistit; et sanitatem corporis in- 
terdum, ubi saluti anima expedient, consequitur.' " 

2 "Ad oculos. Per istam sanctam unction em, et suam 
piissimam misericordiam, indulgeat tibi Dominus quidquid per 
visum deliquisti. Amen." The same form is used at the 
anointing of the ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet and reins, 
"visum" being changed to "auditum," "odoratum," etc. 

3 e.g. " Cura, qusesumus, Redemptor noster, gratia sancti 
Spiritus languores istius infirmi, ej usque sana vulnera, et 
dimitte peccata, atque dolores cunctos mentis et corporis ab 
eo expelle, plenamque interius et exterius sanitatem miseri- 
corditer redde, ut ope misericordise tuae restitutus, ad pristina 
reparetur ofncia." 


The net result Is that Extreme Unction in the 
Roman Church has ceased to be a rite for healing 
the sick and has become a rite for the comfort of 
the dying that is to say, the precise opposite of 
what St. James intended, since it is used just when 
hope of recovery is gone. This was already the 
practice in the Middle Ages, 1 and it must therefore 
be admitted that our 25th Article had some justifi- 
cation in calling it a corrupt following of the Apos- 

Indeed, Cardinal Cajetan had already denied that 
Extreme Unction was a following of St. James at 
all. The Apostle, he says, describes Unction for 
the sick 

"whereas Extreme Unction is only given near the 
point of death, and tends directly (as the form of it inti- 
mates) to the remission of sins." 2 

And Cajetan was one of the greatest of mediaeval 
theologians, whose position to-day is still so high 
that his commentary on the Summa is printed with 
the text of that great work by order of Pope Leo 
XIII. But on the other hand there are eminent 
Roman Catholic authorities who say that " Extreme 
Unction per se, and so far as the primary institution 
of Christ is concerned, does not remit deadly 
sin/' 3 

il have found a remarkable instance of this in a Danish 
Manual of 1513 (Manuale Curatoruw sec, usum eccL Ros- 
kildensis; ed. J. Freisen, P&derborn, 1898, p. 26), where 
Unction is forbidden to be used except when life is despairec 
of: "De sacra unctione est notandum quod infirmo ammin- 
istrari non debet nisi de vita desperatur, quia cura maxims 
debetur sacro oleo." 

2 Qu. Puller, p. 39. 

3 De Augustinis, Qu. Puller, p. 36. 


Perhaps I have said enough to show how great 
is the confusion which the Roman Church has in- 
herited from the Middle Ages, largely owing to the 
defective scholarship of that period. The incon- 
sistencies and contradictions are so great that a 
Roman Catholic is generally able to deny, if he 
chooses, any definite statement made on the subject; 
but in spite of this, it is true that the net result of the 
confusion is that Extreme Unction has been, and is, 
regarded in the Roman Church as a Sacrament of 
the Dying. It is worth while to give an extract 
from a popular source to show what is commonly 
held on the subject. Father W. Humphrey, S.J., 
in a book on the Sacraments, which was originally 
published in The Month, 1 has a chapter which he 


(Extreme Unction} 
A few short extracts from it will suffice 

" Hence an end, and that the principal end, of this sac- 
rament is to strengthen and to comfort the dying man, 
. . Another and a secondary end of the Sacrament of 
Extreme Unction is proximately to dispose and prepare 
the parting soul for that new life on which it is about 
to enter. . . . There is a third, and a contingent 
end of Extreme Unction, and that is the bodily healing 
of the sick man under certain conditions/' 

The italics belong to the original. Father Hum- 
phrey proceeds to describe the effects of Extreme 

1 The One Mediator, Art and Book Company, 2nd ed., 
1894, chap. VII. 


Unction, which he states are ( I ) " An increase of 
habitual, sanctifying grace/' (2) "For the remis- 
sion of sins/' with reservations; (3) ff principally 
. . . the removal of the remains of sin " ; (4) 
" Nor is this all. There is yet another effect of the 
Sacrament of Extreme Unction. It affects not only 
the soul, but even the body of the sick man." 

Thus even at the present day there are not in- 
considerable traces retained in the Roman Church 
of the Catholic and Apostolic practice of healing 
the sick by Unction. Only this use of it as a 
" Sacrament of the Dying " (with possible bodily 
effects) is very far removed from " the prayer of 
faith " which " shall save him that is sick." 

But, though Unction did undoubtedly come to be 
misused in the Middle Ages, it must always be 
clearly borne in mind that the spiritual healing of 
the sick was not given up in the Church. On the 
contrary, it flourished exceedingly, as we shall see 
in Chapter XXVII ; and perhaps there is no stronger 
evidence of the reality of this religious power than 
the historic fact, that as Unction came to be reserved 
for a different purpose, the stream of spiritual heal- 
ing did not evaporate but passed through other 
channels which also were primitive and scriptural. 1 

a The Anglican use of Unction after the Reformation is 
mentioned in Chapter XXIX, the use of the Eastern Church 
on pp. 238, 257. 



ST. JAMES, speaking to Christians, tells them to call 
in the priests of the Church when anyone is ill. It 
is perhaps hardly necessary to point out that our 
word " priest " is a contraction of the " presby- 
ter" (presbuferos) of the original, which means 
" elder " just as our word " bishop " is a contrac- 
tion of the Greek " episcopos" which means " over- 
seer ": the English Bible, with English inconsis- 
tency renders the one word " elder " and the other 
" bishop," although the English form of presbuteros 
is just as much " priest " as " bishop " is the Eng- 
lish form of episcopos. This is a mere matter of 
words ; but it is important to notice that St. James 
is clearly referring to a definite ministry when he 
speaks of "the elders of the Church/' This does- 
not, of course, mean that only priests can heal 1 
nor indeed was it at first taken to mean that only 
priests could anoint but it does mean that if a 
Christian seeks healing by Unction in Church order, 
the proper persons to call in are the regular min- 
istry, the priests of the Church. 

In the primitive Church another ministry was 
recognized the " charismatic ministry " of those 
(who possessed special charismata or " gifts" of the 

* See p. 196. 



Holy Spirit. 1 Such charismatic persons, laymen 
and laywomen, as well as clergy, could consecrate 
as. well as administer the oil A saint, for instance, 
who in the Middle Ages would have healed by word 
or touch, with prayer, might in earlier times use 
oil as the means of his miraculous or charismatic 
healing, blessing the oil himself. 2 

Nor was the consecration of oil in the regular 
ministry confined to bishops: it is the priests in 
St. James Epistle who use the oil " in the Name of 
the Lord/' and this custom, which lasted over a 
thousand years in the West, is still retained in the 
East to-day, where oil is newly blessed for each 
sick person, and priests may bless it. It was indeed 
natural for this blessing to be given by the bishop 
when he was present, just as is done on other occa- 
sions at the present day we have for instance, in 
our own English Liturgy, the concluding rubric, 
" Then the Priest (or the Bishop if he be present) 
shall let them depart with this Blessing." So in the 
Apostolical Constitutions, which may be dated about 
A.D. 375, we read 

"Let the bishop bless the water or the oil. But if he 
be not there, let the priest bless it, the deacon standing 
by. But if the bishop be present, let the priest and the 
deacon stand by." 

The custom of confining the benediction of oil to 
the bishop happens to be a local Roman one: it 
grew up in the diocese of Rome as early as the 
fourth century, and the rule is for the bishops who 

*e.g., -X.apLcriia.Ta, tap&ruv, "gifts of healings," in I Cor. 12 . 
*e.g>, St. Simeon Stylites, who died in 460 and was a lay- 


now follow the Roman rule to consecrate on 
Maundy Thursday enough oil to supply the parishes 
in their dioceses during the year. This local cus- 
tom, however, only spread very slowly; and as late 
as 1050 (if not later) priests consecrated the oil at 
Milan, where indeed they could do so still if they 
chose. 1 

The oil, thus blessed by bishop, priest, or charis- 
matic person, could in early times be administered 
by a priest, or by a layman or laywoman, or by the 
patient himself. For instance, Innocent I, Bishop 
of Rome, wrote in 416 to Decentius, who had asked 
him whether a bishop could administer as well as a 
priest, that of course, a bishop could do what a 
priest could do, 2 and in the course of his answer 
he says of the oil 

"the holy oil of chrism, which, being consecrated by 
the bishop, it is lawful not for the priests only, but for 
all Christians to use for anointing in their own need or 
in the need of members of their household." 8 

The Venerable Bede, c. 710, refers to this letter 
of Innocent I as proof that the oil, duly conse- 
crated by a bishop, may be administered by all 
Christians " in their own need, or in the need of 
any members of their household." 4 An instance 

1 The Anointing of the Sick in Scripture and Tradition, by 
F. W. Puller, p. 302, n. i. 

2 See e.g., the Life of St. Germain, Bishop of Auxerre, 418- 
448, who, during a terrible plague, the physicians ^being power- 
less, blessed some oil and anointed the swollen jaws of those 
who were sick, whereat they recovered. Qu. Puller, Ibid., p. 

8 1 give Fr. Puller's translation (Ibid., p. ,54), The right 
of laymen to administer Unction is sometimes hidden by 
mistranslation in controversial books, as in Cardinal Gibbons' 
'Faith of our Fathers (44th ed., p. 438). 

* Puller, Ibid., p. 48. 


of a holy woman is St. Genevieve of Paris, who 
died c. 502 and used to heal the sick with oil which 
it appears was the ordinary Oleum Iwfirmorum 
that had been consecrated by the Bishop. 1 It was 
probably in the ninth century, as the views about 
Unction changed, that the ministry was restricted 
to priests. 

Now it is not difficult to summarise the lesson 
which we glean from these examples. The power 
.of conferring physical benefit by the use of Unc- 
tion lies in the whole Church; in different places 
and ages different rules have existed as to how this 
power should be exercised. Any local Church has 
still the right to make its own rules; but in any 
case, since the power belongs to the body as a 
whole, it should be exercised through that body 
and not irresponsibly by individuals: priests and 
bishops possess the authority inalienably and by 
Apostolic command to anoint the sick, and the 
function may be delegated to laymen, just as bap- 
tism is in cases of necessity; but such delegation, 
if it be necessary, should be done by the Church 
itself with, due safeguards against disorder and 
superstition. In the earlier centuries of the Church 
Catholic, charismatic persons were recognised in 
addition to the regular ministry : this may be done 
again, but until it is done, the right of setting 
apart oil for the sick is reserved in Church order to 
bishops and priests; though it would seem that oil 
thus set apart might in cases of necessity be admin- 
istered by laymen. These, I think, are sensible 

this ^ and other instances, see Puller, The Anointing 
of the Sick in Scripture and Tradition, chap. iv. 


safeguards. Meanwhile there are many other ways 
in which laymen and laywomen can minister 
spiritually to the recovery of the sick, as we shall 
see in the chapters that follow. 






IN the Second Part of this book we considered the 
therapeutic records of the Gospels, and of that 
first age of the Primitive Church which is contained 
in the New Testament; including a statement of 
later developments in the case of Unction, since it 
would have been difficult otherwise to deal ade- 
quately with the teaching of St. James. 

Let us in Part III give a series of typical 
instances which illustrate the persistence of faith- 
healing, through a great variety of ways, in the 
succeeding ages of Christendom. 

So far as possible, we will leave the documents to 
speak for themselves, only supplying brief introduc- 
tions, and italicising: a word here and there for the 
convenience of the reader. 

Quadratu^ 126 or 127, A.D. 

The earliest Christian Apology which is known 
outside the New Testament is that of Quadratus of 
Athens, who presented his work to Hadrian on that 


Emperor's visit to Athens in 126 or 127. Only the 
following fragment remains of this Apology, which 
is worth printing here as it stands; for though it 
recounts no contemporary work, it gives a pecul- 
iarly interesting testimony to the permanence of 
those healing miracles which are recounted in the 

" But the works of our Saviour were always visible, 
because they were true. Those, namely, who were freed 
from disease, or who were called back from death to life, 
were not only seen of men whilst they were being healed 
or called back to life, but also were seen in the time that 
followed. Nor was this only for so long as our Saviour 
remained upon earth, but they survived long after his de- 
parture, so long indeed that some of them have lived on 
even to our own time" x 

St. Justin Martyr, c. 100 c. 163 AJX 

Justin the philosopher was martyred c. 163, in 
the reign of Marcus Aurelius. He wrote a dialogue 
with a Jew named Trypho, and two Apologies, the 
first addressed to Antoninus Pius, and the second 
to the Roman Senate. 

In the Dialogue with Trypho he bears witness to 
the existence of charismata 

" For one receives the spirit of understanding, another 
of counsel, another of strength, another of healing,, an- 
other of foreknowledge, another of teaching, another of 
the fear of God." 2 

In the same dialogue he speaks of Exorcism; 
and, arguing with a Jew, he claims that, while even 
the use of Jehovah's name is only sometimes suc- 

1 Quadratus, in J. C. T. von Otto, Corpus Apologetarum* 

2 Trypho, 39. 


cessful, exorcism in the name of Christ always suc- 
ceeds. He must have been confident that the evi- 
dence for this was abundant and convincing 

" For every daemon when exorcised in the name of this 
very Son of God ... is overcome and subdued. But 
though you exorcise every daemon in the name of any 
of those who were amongst you either kings, or right- 
eous men, or prophets, or patriarchs it will not be 
subject to you. But if any of you exorcise it by the 
God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of 
Jacob, it will perhaps be subject unto you." x 

In the Second Apology he makes a similar appeal 
to the abundant evidence of facts 

"And now you can learn this from what is under 
your own observation. For numberless daemoniacs 
throughout the whole world, and in your city, many of 
our Christian men exorcising them in the name of Jesus 
Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, have 
healed and do heal, rendering helpless and driving the pos- 
sessing demons out of the men, though they could not be 
cured by all the other exorcists and those who used in- 
cantations and drugs/' 2 

St. lren<zus, A.D. 180 

St. Irenseus, Bishop of Lyons, also claims as a 
matter of common knowledge, the power in the 
Catholic Church to heal ; his list is a wide one, and 
includes even the raising of the dead. He is here 
speaking of certain heretics " who are said to 
perform miracles," and he replies that they can- 

" For they can neither confer sight on the blind nor 
hearing on the deaf, nor chase away all sorts of d&mons 

1 Trypho, 85. 

2 Justin Martyr. Second Apology, 6, cf, Trypho, 30, 


(except those that are sent into others by themselves 
if they can even do as much as this) : nor can they cure 
the weak, or the lame, or the paralytic; or those who are 
distressed in any other part of the body, as has often 
been done in regard to bodily infirmity. Nor can they 
furnish effective remedies for those external accidents 
which may occur. And so far are they from being able 
to raise the dead, as the Lord raised them (and the 
Apostles did by means of prayer, as has been frequently 
done in the brotherhood on account of some necessity ' 
the entire church in that particular locality entreating 
with much fasting and prayer, the spirit of the dead man 
has returned, and he has been bestowed in answer to 
the prayers of the saints ) that they do not even be- 1 
lieve this can possibly be done/' 1 

By Laying-on of Hands 

A little further on he speaks again of healing 
and exorcism; and it will be noticed that he men- 
tions the Laying-on of Hands and not Unction. 
The charismata, he says, are exercised every day 
for the Gentiles, and no fees are taken. Irenaeus < 
here refers to Mt. 10 8 , and refers to that text in 
its right connection, not misapplying it to almsgiv- 
ing as is our modern custom. 

" Wherefore, also, those who are in truth his dis- 
ciples receiving grace from him, do in his name perform 
[miracles], so as to promote the welfare of other men, 1 
according to the gift which each one has received from 
him. For some do certainly and truly drive out d&mons, 
so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil 
spirits frequently both believe and join themselves to 
the Church. . . . Others again heal the sick by 
laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. 
Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been 
raised up, and remained among us for many years. And 
what shall I more say? It is not possible to name the 

1 C. Hcres, Bk. II., chap. 31, 2, 


number of the gifts which the Church throughout the 
whole world has received from God in the name oi 
Jesus Christ ... and which she exerts day by day 
for the benefit of the Gentiles, neither practising decep- 
tion upon any, nor taking any reward from them. For 
as she has received freely from God, freely also does she 
minister." * 

So far the only instance given of the manner 
of healing since the first century has been the Lay- 
ing-on of Hands on p. 245. At this period we come 
to the first definite mention of Unction since St. 
James in the first century, the cure, namely, of the 
Emperor Septimius Severus between A.D. 193 and 
211, mentioned by Tertullian in 211. Since, how- 
ever, it will be convenient to take these with similar 
cases of the use of oil and other medicaments, we 
will group such cases together in Chapter XXV, 
merely recording the principal names here, in their 
order, together with the remaining instances (in 
italic) to be given in this chapter 

193-211. Tertullian : Unction p. 252 

249. Origen pp. 247-8 

c. 350. Liturgy of Serapion: Oil, water, 

bread pp, 256-7 

354. St. Jerome (St. Hilarion) : Bread p. 258 

T ' 355- St Parthenius : Oil p. 264 

375. Apostolic Constitution : Oil, water, p. 258 

c~ 395. St. Martin : Oil p. 260 

t 397- St. Ambrose: Relics p. 248 

c. 400. Testamentum Domini: Oil, water- p. 259 

t 407. St. Chrysostom : Sanctuary oil. ... p. 268 

f 430* St. Augustine: Sacraments, Saints p. 271 

640. Sophronius: Incubation p. 279 

673-735. Bede: Oil, water, bread, relics, 

Saints pp. 262, 276 

Later instances are given in the Appendix. 

1 C. Heres, Bk. IL, chap, 32, 34- 


Origen, 249 A.D. 

Origen (c. 185-253) has no superior among the 
Greek Fathers; and perhaps, among the Latin, 
Augustine alone can be claimed as his rival in 
greatness of mind. He was of Egyptian race, the 
son of a martyr; he taught in the famous school of 
Alexandria, living, it is said, on sixpence a day; 
and his reckless courage ended at last in his torture 
in 251, and his death two years later at Tyre. No 
early writer is so " modern " as he, and none had a 
more redoubtable opponent than he in Celsus, 
against whom he wrote the greatest Christian 
apology. Once more, then, we have a Christian, 
writing under acute criticism, and sure of being 
able to verify his statements. Thus, after referring 
to the miracles of the Apostles, he writes with 
cautious restraint 

" And there are still preserved among Christians traces 
of that Holy Spirit which appeared in the form of a dove. 
They expel evil spirits, and perform many cures, and 
foresee certain events, according to the will of 
the Logos." * 

Though thus modestly referred to, these " traces " 
were neither few nor unsubstantial. He says in 
the next Book 

" For they [the Jews] have no longer prophets or 
miracles, traces of which to a considerable extent are 
still found among Christians, and some of them more re- 
markable than any that existed among the Jews; and 
these we ourselves have witnessed" * 

* C. Cels, t Bk. I, chap. 46* 

tt, Bk. II, chap. 8. Cf. also Bk. VII, chap. 8. 


For more than seven hundred years faith-healing 
had been carried on in the Temples of jEscula- 
pius. In his characteristic modern way Origen 
does not deny this, " since the cure of bodies is a 
moderate (><W) thing, and a matter within reach 
not merely of the good but also of the bad/ 3 x 

And when it is said of ^Esculapius that a great 
multitude both of Greeks and barbarians acknowl- 
edge that they have frequently seen, and still see, 
no mere phantom, but JEsculapius himself, healing 
and doing good he replies by referring to the 
greater healing power of Christ 

" And some [Christians] give evidence of their having 
received through this faith a marvellous power by the 
cures which they perform, invoking no other name over 
those who need their help than that of the God of all 
things, and of Jesus, along- with a mention of his history. 
For by these means we too have seen many persons 
freed from grievous calamities, and from distractions ^ of 
mind [e/ccrrao-ecov] and madness, and countless other ills, 
which could be cured neither by men nor daemons." 2 

'St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, 34<>397 

There could not well be better historic evidence 
than that of such an eye-witness as St. Ambrose, 
the foremost public man of his day, and one of the 
greatest of Christian saints, trained as a lawyer 
and a magistrate, famous as a heroic bishop and 
enshrined in human memory as one of the Four 
Doctors of the Latin Church. He tells in his 52nd 

* C. Cefa, Bk. Ill, chap. 2$. 
2 C. Cels., Bk. Ill, chap. 34. 


Letter how the bodies of the two martyrs, Ger- 
vasius and Protasius, were discovered beneath the 
pavement of the church during the great struggle 
with the Arianising Empress, Justina, The Arians 
denied the merits of the Martyrs, whereupon St. 
Ambrose replies that " the benefits of the Martyrs 
are shown by the recovery of the healed/' and he 
gives an instance of a blind man 

" The man is well known : when in health he was em- 
ployed in public trade ; his name is Severus, a butcher by 
business. When his affliction befel him, he laid down 
his employment. He calls as his witnesses those men 
by whose charities he was supported; he summons as 
witness of his present visitation the very men who bore 
testimony to his blindness. He declares that when he< 
touched the border of the garment with which the mar- 
tyrs' bodies were clothed, his sight was restored to him." 

Proceeding, he gives the rationale of such relic- 
cures (to which we shall refer again 1 ) in the 
admirable words : 

" Is not this like what we read in the Gospel ? For 
the power which we admire proceeds from one and the 
same Author; nor does it signify whether it is a work or 
a gift, seeing that he confers gifts in his works and 
works by his gifts." 2 

It is worth noting here that St. Chrysostom 
(347407), though he constantly speaks in his 
Homilies of miracles having ceased, did not include 
spiritual healing in this category, but refers to it as 
a matter of common occurrence in a passage which 
is quoted in the next chapter. 3 

1 See p. 270. 

z Letters of St. Ambrose, No. 22, 17-18. (Library of the 
Fathers Translation.) 
8 See p. 268. 


St. Augustine (354-43) 
(Sacraments and Prayers of the Saints) 

St. Augustine, writing in the next century, 426 
A,D., bears witness to the fact that miracles were 
going on in his time/ though they were not widely 
known, like those recorded in the Bible. His words 
remind us that a great many more miracles hap- 
pened than were recorded, in days when there were 
no newspapers and no committees of doctors: we 
are so often impressed by the danger of exag- 
geration in early narratives, that it is well to 
remember the other side there is, it is true, often 
overstatement, in the case of second-hand witnesses, 
as to quality, but the quantity is hardly represented 
at all. St. Augustine himself in earlier days had 
thought that miracles had ceased altogether, but 
with growing experience he altered his mind; and 
he now says 

"And for miracles, there are some wrought as yet, 
partly by the sacraments, partly by the commemorations 
and prayers of the saints, but they are not so famous, nor 
so glorious as the other; for the Scriptures which were 
to be divulged in all places, have given lustre to the first, 
in the knowledge of all nations, whereas the latter are 
only known unto the cities where they are done, or some 
parts about them. And, generally, there are few that 
know them there, and many that do not, if the city be 
great; and when they relate them to others, they are not 
believed so fully, and so absolutely as the other, although 
they be declared by one Christian to another." 2 

1 See also p. 270. ' 

2 Augustine, The City of God t Bk. XVIII, chap. 8 (ed. 
Healey, 1903, pp. 



The First Three Centuries; The Liturgy of Scrap* 

ion; Oil, Water, and Bread; Combination of 

Spiritual and Medical Treatment; Drugs 

As the reader has been reminded in Part II, the 
New Testament shows clearly that in Apostolic 
times religious healing was applied in a variety of 
ways, and there was no trace of any idea that it 
could only be administered through Unction or that 
it was limited to one particular ministry. 

We find the same free diversity of method 
throughout Christian history. The earliest allusions 
to the subject outside the New Testament cycle 
mention the use of Christ's Name and the laying-on 
of hands; 1 and even in the first six centuries, 
when we know that Unction was used strictly for 
healing purposes, we find abundant evidence that 
other means were freely used as well, and that 
Unction itself, as we have seen, was not re- 
stricted to the official ministry of the Church. 
Indeed, as it became so restricted, it lost its original 
use, and was supplanted for spiritual healing by 
other methods which had for the most part been 
also used from, early times* The Spirit blew where 

i See pp. 244-5- 


it listed, and religious healing went on under 
varying forms. 

The first definite mention of anointing after St. 
Mark and St. James, is, as we have said, in Ter- 

211 A.D. 
(Mention of Unction) 

Tertullian, in his letter to the proconsul of 
Africa, Scapula, pleads with that official to cease 
persecuting the Christians, and in the course of his 
argument he mentions that many of the heathen, 
and even some advocates who were briefed against 
Christians, had been supernaturally healed by them. 
Writing in the reign of that Antonine who is known 
to history by the nickname of Caracalla (211-217), 
he instances as specially notable the cure of that 
Emperor's father, the Emperor Septimius Severus 
(193-211) by a Christian; and this is the first 
certain mention of the use of oil after the Epistle of 
St. James. It is clear that since Christians could 
thus use Unction for pagans they would much 
more use it among themselves 

" All this might be officially brought under your notice, 
and by the very advocates who are themselves also under 
obligations to us, although in court they give their voice 
as it suits them. For the clerk of one of them, who was 
liable to be thrown upon the ground by an evil spirit, 
was set free from his affliction, as was also the relative 
of another and the little boy of a third. And how many 
men of rank (to say nothing of common people) have 
been delivered from daemons and healed of diseases? 
Even Severus himself, the father of Antonine, was 
graciously mindful of the Christians. For he souglit out 


the- Christian Proculus, surnamed Torpacion, the steward 
of Euhodias, and in gratitude for his having once cured 
him by anointing [per oleum}, he kept him in his palace 
till the day of his death/' x 

This instance then makes it reasonably certain 
that oil was commonly used for religious healing 
in the second century, as it certainly was used 
before 211. Before we proceed to quote the first 
certain liturgical instance that of Serapion in the 
fourth century it is necessary to mention the 
allusion to this subject in the Report of the Lam- 
beth Conference, ipoS. 2 After a curious reference 
in the Encyclical Letter to the " alleged origin " of 
Unction words that do not occur in the formal 
Resolutions, which speak without this unnecessary 
suspicion of " the practice commanded by St. 
James " the Report of the Committee makes the 
following statement " Moreover, so far as the 
Committee is aware, there is no clear proof of the 
use of Unction for the sick in the Christian Church 
until the fourth century/' It concludes by refus- 
ing to " recommend " Unction, in view of this 

This statement, which has crept into an other- 
wise admirable report, needs mention because it 
illustrates two tendencies which have often vitiated 
such utterances in the past In the first place it 
presents us with what we may call the theology of 

1 Ad Scapulam, 4. (Ante-Nicene Christian Library Trans- 

2 Published by the Society for the Promotion of Christian 
Knowledge. See further on p. 309. It must be remembered 
that a very numerous minority was opposed to this part of 
the resolution (see p, 311) : the growth of that minority in 
recent years is remarkable, and will no doubt continue. 


gaps, which was once more common than now 
in the days when many persons staked their faith 
upon the gap between men and monkeys, or between 
organic and inorganic matter, and feared that their 
belief in God would evaporate if the "missing- 
link " were discovered or if protozoa were created 
in the laboratory. Everybody knows that this is a 
vicious principle: yet in certain matters there are 
still theologians who will take their stand cheer- 
fully upon some ever-shrinking territory of nes- 
cience, and rest their convictions upon a gap in our 
knowledge. 1 This gap is especially significant in 
their eyes if it occurs in the first six centuries 
(which for controversial purposes is always reduced 
to the first three, when the gap shows signs of fill- 
ing) : thus the Report of the Lambeth Conference 
lays great stress upon the statement that "there 
is no clear proof of the use of Unction for the sick 
in the Christian Church until the fourth century/* 
and principally for this reason declines to recom- 
mend it Now it would matter very little if this 
statement were correct, since the habit of thought 
which attaches such vast importance to very early 
centuries is obsolescent; in the light of evolution 
we can no longer think that one age was better 
developed than another merely because it was 
earlier in date, since the exact opposite must be 
normally the case. But in the second place, there 
is a vicious minimising of the evidence; for it is not 
correct to say that there is no proof of Unction till 

1 The shrinking of the territory is well illustrated in this 
very connection by the recent discovery of Serapion/s Sac- 
ramentary. See p. 256. 


the fourth century. We have two important 
instances in the first century, and those from the 
pens of an Evangelist and of an Apostle. The 
statement, therefore, must be reduced to this 
that in the scanty records of the second and third 
centuries there is no evidence* But even this is not 
true, for the record of Tertullian, which we have 
given, proves that there is evidence between the years 
193 and 211 ; besides which it is extremely improb- 
able on the face of it that the Christians of that 
period would have neglected the precepts of St. 
James, at a time too when oil was in universal medi- 
cal use. All, then, that the Committee of the Lam- 
beth Conference had a historical right to say was 
that as yet no certain instance has been found in the 
third century. 1 To refuse a recognition of Unction 
because of this to base the practice of the twen- 
tieth century upon a gap in our knowledge of the 
third is surely the reduction to absurdity of this 
method of argument. The Committee was there- 
fore wise, if somewhat illogical, in giving back 
with one hand what it had taken away with the 
other, and in concluding by the assurance that it 
" does not wish to go so far as to advise the pro- 

* " No certain instance/' "because the Blessing of Oil at the 
Eucharist in the Canons of Hippolytus (Canon 28, ed. Achelis, 
p. 56) is vague in its reference to health, and many regard 
the oil merely as part of the first-fruits which are mentioned 
as being blessed at this part of the service. It may, on the 
other hand, mean more than this : but so far as our present 
knowledge goes it cannot be treated as evidence, interesting 
though it is. These canons do however illustrate the exist- 
ence of healing in some form; for the grace or charisma 
of healing is prayed for in the form for ordaining bishops 
and priests, (Ibid,, Canon 3, p. 46, <? 24, P- 


libition of its use, if it be earnestly desired by the 
sick person." l 

The question is sometimes obscured by reading 
into these early practices the notions of what was 
called in later times the Sacrament of Unction. 
This is not what we are looking for. As we shall 
see, the earlier Christians used oil, and also ^ other 
things which were common articles of medicine, 2 
and therefore were appropriate materials for the 
spiritual healing of the sick. 

The Sacramentary of Serapion, c. 350 
(Oil, Water, Bread) 

We find this use of other materials shown at once 
in our earliest liturgical instance, the recently dis- 
covered Sacramentary of Serapion, where water 
and bread, as well as oil, are consecrated for the 
healing of the sick. This document belongs to the 
middle of the fourth century, for Serapion, who 
was Bishop of Thmuis in Egypt, was a contem- 
porary and friend of St. Athanasius. In the follow- 
ing prayer, both water and oil are consecrated 
during the Eucharist 

" Prayer concerning the oils and waters that are being- 
offered : 

"We bless through the Name of thy Only-begotten^ 
Jesus Christ, these creatures. We name the Name of him 
who suffered, who was crucified, and rose again, and who 
sitteth on the right hand of the Uncreated, upon this 
water and this oil Grant healing power upon these crea- 
tures, that every fever and every dsemon and every sick- 
ness may depart through the drinking and the anointing, 

i c^ tt T* OTT 2 See pp. 256-66* 


and that the partaking of these creatures may be a heal- 
ing medicine and a medicine of complete soundness in 
the Name of the Only begotten, Jesus Christ, through 
whom to thee are the glory and the strength In the 
Holy Spirit to all the ages of the ages. Amen." a 

In addition to oil and water, the same Sacra- 
mentary of Serapion includes bread as a thing to be 
blessed for a means of healing; for another prayer 
which asks that all who are anointed, "or are 
partaking of these thy creatures," may have healing 
power to throw off every disease and infirmity, to 
be a prophylactic against every daemon, for a driv- 
ing out of every fever and every infirmity, and " for 
health and soundness in all their parts of soul 

[*/or^ s ]> body [O-CO/WITOS], Spirit, [Tn/dJ/Jtaros]" has 

this heading 

" A Prayer for Oil of the sick, or for Bread, or 
for Water" 

Thus we find that in the fourth century these 
three things were used liturgically for healing pur- 
poses, and there was no restriction to Unction even 
in the service books. That was a thing which came 
later as ecclesiastical matters lost their earlier free- 
dom and were more strictly regulated. But there is 
perhaps a trace of the consecration of the three 
things in the conservative East to-day: for, in the 
Service of Unction in the Russian Church, the 
Trebnik or Book of Needs orders the cruet of oil to 
be placed on a dish of wheat, and mentions the pour- 

i Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. I, p. 108. The italics 
are my own. 


ing of water or wine " into the cruet of prayer- 
unction/ 3 1 

St. Jerome, c. 390 A.D. 

{Unction and Blessed Bread used by St. Hilarion) 

We may illustrate this by two short extracts 
from St. Jerome, which show that he also believed 
In spiritual healing. They are from his Life of St. 
Hilarion (c. 390), and have not the advantage of 
being an exactly contemporary account, since 
Hilarion had died in 371 ; but they serve to illustrate 
St. Jerome's views on the subject. Hilarion, by the 
way, seems to have been a layman. 

"But lo! that parched and sandy district, after the 
rain had fallen, unexpectedly produced such vast num- 
Ibers of serpents and poisonous animals that many, who 
were bitten, would have died at once, if they had not run 
to Hilarion. He therefore blessed some oil, with which 
all the husbandmen and shepherds touched their wounds, 
and found an infallible cure/' 2 

" There used to congregate about him bishops, pres- 
byters, crowds of clerics and monks, of Christian matrons 
also, and a rabble of unknown persons . . . and even 
judges and others holding high positions. These all 
came to him with the object of receiving at his hands 
the bread or oil which he had blessed." 3 

Apostolical Constitutions, c. 375 A.D. 
(Oil, Water} 

Of about the same date are the Apostolical Con- 
stitutions, which contain a prayer showing that the 

1 G. V. Shann, Book of Needs, pp. 83, 94, 
2S. Hieron. Vit S. Hilarion, chap. 32 (P. L. XXIII, 46). 
Trans. Puller, Anointing of the Sick, pp, 164-7. 
3 Ibid,, chap. 30. 


men and women of the congregation used to bring 
oil and water to church in order that both materials 
might be blessed by the bishop or the priest for heal- 
ing purposes. The prayer is given both in Greek 
and English by Father Puller. 1 

"But concerning water and oil, I, Matthias, make a 

"Let the bishop bless the water or the oil. But if he 
be not there, let the presbyter bless it, the deacon standing 
by. But if the bishop be present, let the presbyter and 
the deacon stand by; but let him say thus: ' O Lord 
of Sabaoth, the God of Hosts, the Creator of the waters, 
and the bountiful supplier of oil, who are compassionate 
and a lover of mankind, who gavest water for drink and 
cleansing, and oil to make a cheerful countenance for 
the exultation of joy. Do thou now sanctify this water, 
and this oil, through Christ, in the name of him that 
offered or of her that offered, and give to these things 
a power of producing health and of driving away dis- 
eases, of putting to flight daemons, of dispersing every 
snare through Christ our Hope, with whom to thee be 
glory, honour, and worship, and to the Holy Ghost, for 
ever. Amen/ " 

Testamentum Domini, c. 400 A.D. 
(0*7, Water) 

Another early instance of the hallowing of oil 
and water for the sick is supplied by an Eastern 
work which is variously ascribed to c. 360 and c. 

"If the priest consecrate oil for the healing of those 
who suffer, let him say thus quietly, placing the vessel 
before the altar: 

1 Puller, Anointing of the Sick, pp. 84, 318. 


"O Lord God, who has bestowed upon us the Spirit, 
the Paraclete, the Lord, the saving and unshaken Name, 
which is hidden from the foolish but revealed unto the 
wise- O Christ, who didst sanctify us, and by thy 
mercies dost make the servants whom thou choosest wise 
with the wisdom that is thine, who didst send the knowl- 
edge of thy Spirit to us sinners by the holiness which 
is thine, bestowing on us the power of the Spirit; who 
art the Healer of every sickness and of every suffering; 
who didst give the gift of healing to those who were 
accounted worthy of this, by thee; send on this oil, which 
is the type of thy fatness, the delivering [power] of thy 
good compassion, that it may deliver those who labour 
and heal those who are sick, and sanctify those who 
return when they approach to thy faith; for thou art 
mighty and [to be] praised for ever and ever. 1 he 
People: Amen. 

"Likewise the same also over water"* 

St. Martin, c. 395 
(Oil Blessed and Drunk) 

Both anointing and drinking are mentioned in 
Serapion's prayer; but it does not follow that the 
oil was always to be used for the former and the 
water for the latter purpose. Consecrated oil was 
sometimes drunk, as in the following nearly con- 
temporaneous account of the famous St. Martin, 
Bishop of Tours. The narrator of the story, Callus, 
says of it " That this may not appear incredible 
to any one, let Evagrius, who is here, furnish you 
with a testimony of its truth; for the thing took 
place in his very presence." 

" He then blesses a little oil, with a formula of exor- 
cism and holding the tongue of the girl with his fingers, 

1 James Cooper and Arthur John Maclean, The Testament 
of our Lord, 1902, pp. 77~& 


he poured the consecrated liquid into her mouth. Nor 
did the result of the power thus exerted disappoint the 
holy man. He asks her the name of her father, and she 
instantly replied. The father cries out, with a mixture 
of joy and tears, and embraces the knees of Martin; 
and while all around are amazed, he confessed that then 
for the first time he had heard the voice of his daugh- 

St. Theodore, c. 350 
(The Drinking of the Blest Water} 

A contemporary instance of the drinking of blest 
water Is given by Father Puller. It took place at 
Tabenna in Upper Egypt about the time when 
Serapion was Bishop of Thmuis in the Nile Delta. 
The narrator, Ammon, had known the abbot, St. 
Theodore, of whom he tells the story. 

"A girl was dying in her father's house, which was 
not very far from the Monastery at Tabenna. The anx- 
ious father came to Tabenna, and begged the holy Abbot 
Theodore to come to his house and pray over his daugh- 
ter and recover her. Theodore was not able to go at 
that time, but pointed out that God, being omnipresent^ 
could hear his prayers for the girl, even though they 
were not offered in her presence. Then the father got 
a silver cup full of water, and brought it to Theodore, 
and said, " I am a man of little faith ; I beg as a favour 
of you that you will at any rate invoke the name of 
God over this water on behalf of rny daughter; for I 
believe that God will hearken unto you, and will make 
this water a medicine of recovery for her. 

" Then Theodore taking the cup looked up to heaven, 
and prayed with tears, and made the sign of the cross 
of Christ over the water. And the father took the ciip 
of holy water and hurried back to his home, and forcing 

1 Sulpicius Severus, de vita B. Martini, c. 16, P. L. xx, 169. 
Trans. Puller, Anointing of the Sick, ftp. 160-1. 


open the closed mouth of his daughter, poured into & 
some of the water which had been blessed, and the girl 
recovered." 1 

St. Cuthbert, t687 

The same thing is found three centuries-, later. 
It so happens that in Bede's Life of St. Cuthbert, 
written from the testimony of witnesses then liv- 
ing, we are told of healing by means of water, oil, 
and bread in three successive chapters. 

" xxix: How through his priest he cured the wife of 
an earl through holy water." 

"Cuthbert . . . having blessed the water which 
was brought to him, gave it to the priest, directing him 
to sprinkle it on the patient. He entered the bedroom 
in which she lay as if dead, and sprinkled her and the 
bed, and poured some of the healing draught down her 
throat." The lady, we are told, got up at once and 
ministered to those who had cured her. 2 

fc xxx : How he cured a girl of a fain in the head and 
side by anointing her with oil." 

A sister of Ethelwald " at that time attendant on the 
man of God but now abbot of the monastery of Melrose," 
had been " during a whole year troubled with an intolera- 
ble pain in the head and side, which the physicians 
utterly despaired of curing." Cuthbert, " in pity, anointed 
the wretched woman with oil. From that time she, began 
to get better, and was well in a few days. 3 

" xxxi: How he cured an infirm man by consecrated 

Cuthbert was not present Hildemer, a prefect, lay 
" apparently near death/' One of his friends mentioned 

i-Acta Sanctorum, Tom. in, Mai., p. 67 \ Trans. Puller, 
Anointing of the Sick, p. 93. 

2 J. A. Giles, Patres Rcdesia -~ St. Cuthbert, Beda, IX, 
pp. 303-4. 

s Ibid., pp. 305-6. 


that he had with him some consecrated bread which 
St. Cuthbert had given him. Those present were very 
pious laymen: "turning to one another, they professed 
their faith, without doubting, that by partaking of that 
same consecrated bread he might be well. They put 
a little of the bread in a cup of water, and gave it him 
to drink," whereat immediately " all his inward pain left 
him, and the wasting of his outward members ceased." 
A perfect recovery speedily ensued. 1 

Thus we are always in the realm of healing by 
faith, and one symbol is as good as another. 

The Combination of Medical and Spiritual 

There can be little doubt that both oil and 
water were devoted to a religious use because of 
their common employment in medicine and surgery 
as well as for ordinary food. There are many inci-, 
dents, like that of the leper, Naaman the Syrian, 2 
of supernatural cures by means of washing; and 
baths were frequently prescribed in the church 
incubations. 3 

Modern science has taught us how necessary it 
is to drink a good deal of water in order to carry 
away the toxins from the various internal organs, 
and this must always have been realised in some 
measure. Oil has still its uses in modern therapeu- 
tics, and it was a constant remedy in ancient times. 
Thus there were two reasons for choosing both oil 
and water: one was that they were familiar to the 

' 1 J. A. Giles, Patres Ecclesiat St. Cuthbert, Beda, IX, 

P- 307. 

2 2 Kings, 5 10-10. Xhe case of Naaman is quoted by our 
Lord in Lk. 4 2T . 

* M. Hamilton, Incubation, p, 154. 


patient and conveyed the idea of healing or, as 
we should say, they gave a " suggestion " of recov- 
ery. The other reason was that often they must 
have been used as ordinary medicaments; in such 
cases a pious doctor or nurse would naturally 
accompany the use with prayer, so that there must 
have been in practice an imperceptible gradation 
between the purely medical use on the one hand and 
the purely ecclesiastical use on the other. The use 
Df medicine and surgery side by side with " miracle " 
was perfectly natural and reasonable, and it was 
common. 1 The Church has no quarrel with the 
doctors and no prejudice against matter; so that 
sometimes it is difficult to know whether oil, for 
instance, was used medically or spiritually, or in 
both ways. In some cases of recorded miracles the 
saint seems distinctly to have used the oil partly for 
its physical results. Here are three instances from 
Father Puller's book, 2 all of them written by con- 
temporaries and friends 

St. Parthenws, Bishop of Lampsacus, c. 335-355 

"Tien getting up, he gently and gradually softened 
the man's body with the holy oil [the man was * alto- 
gether withered '], and straightway made him to rise 
up healed." 

?/. Macarius of Alexandria and four other Monks, 
c. 375 A.D. 

This account was written by the well-known 
writer, Rufinus, who was an eye-witness 

1 See e.g., St. John of Beverly on pp. 353-8, and St. Cath* 
trine of Siena on pp. 365-70. 

2 Puller, Anointing of the Sick t pp. 155-8. 


" (A man, withered in all his limbs and especially in 
his feet)." " But when he had been anointed all over by 
them with oil in the Name of the Lord, immediately the 
soles of his feet were strengthened. And when they said 
to him, ' In the Name of Jesus Christ . , . arise, and 
stand on thy feet, and return to thy house/ immediately 
arising and leaping, he blessed God." 

St. Macarius of Alexandria, c. 390 

This account was written by Palladius, the friend 
of St. Chrysostom, who was with St. Macarius at 
the time 

" But at the time when we were there, there was 
brought to him from Thessalonica a noble and wealthy 
virgin, who during many years had been suffering from 
paralysis. And when she had been presented to him, 
and had been thrown down before the cell of the blessed 
man, he, being moved with compassion for her, with his 
own hands anointed her during twenty days with holy 
oil, pouring out prayers for her to the Lord, and so 
sent her back cured to her own city/' 


Clearly then no special efficacy is attributed to 
the use of oil. One vehicle is as good as another, 
and all vehicles may be dispensed with, as we have 
seen, and shall see again, by the use of prayer alone. 
Some substances were more usual because o their 
associations, and their seemliness : these were blessed 
at the altar; but there seems to have been no idea 
that any religious barrier separated them from 
others. Here, for instance, is a little story told by 
the Church historian Sozomenus about a contem- 
porary of his own named Aquilinus, who was 
suffering from a form of yellow fever 


Sosomenus f c. 450 

"When nearly dead, he ordered his servants to take 
him to the house of prayer, saying that either he would 
die there, or be rid of the disease. A divinity appeared 
to him by night as he lay there, and ordered^ him to 
mix with his food a drug made of honey, wine, and 
pepper. This cured the man of his disease." 1 

Or again, if we take another contemporary 
account, that of Sophronius, Patriarch of Jeru- 
salem, who died c. 640, we find mentioned as used 
at the Church of St. Cyrus and St John, at Menu- 
thes, in Egypt, 2 the following medicaments among 
others A dried fig, myrtle in wine, a piece of 
lemon; and as a plaster, honey and sisamos, mixed 
with biscuit, lentils, and as an ointment for lame- 
ness, salted quail, and for paralysis, roasted figs 
mixed with wine, and green leaves for liver com- 
plaint These things were all used for the purpose 
of obtaining a miraculous cure; and Sophronius, 
who took special pains in investigating matters on 
the spot, tells us that they were successful. 3 

But we need not leave the subject of oil itself to 
find abundant evidence of its use in ways that 
have little to do with Unction in its ritual sense 
with what came to be called "the Sacrament of 
Unction" in the Middle Ages. Fifty per cent, 
for instance, of the prescriptions mentioned by 
Sophronius at the Church of Saints Cyrus and John 
contain oil or wax from the sanctuary lamps. Oil 
was such a favorite substance in ancient times, and 

a Sozomerms, Eccles. Hist, II, 3. Tr. M. Hamilton, Incu- 
bation, p. 140. 

2 See pp. 269, 278. 

3 M. Hamilton, Incubation, pp. 152-4 


is so easily carried and applied, that it was fre- 
quently used for supernatural cures when it was hal- 
lowed in this manner. Furthertnore it has the great 
practical advantage of going a long way; and not 
only had it many holy associations from the Par- 
able of the Good Samaritan onwards but great 
quantities of it were constantly being hallowed by 
burning in lamps that hung before holy things. I 
have said that this had little to do with " the Sacra- 
ment of Unction" in the mediaeval and modern 
sense ; but I do not suppose that in earlier times the 
distinction would have had any meaning * it seems 
that a Christian healer would have used in the same 
way either oil that had come from a sacred place or 
oil that had been blessed by a priest, bishop, or by 
a charismatic. 



Lamps; Relics; Incubation; Medieval Shrines; 
The Pilgrim 

AT the end of the last chapter we referred to the 
custom of taking oil from a lamp in some holy 
place. The therapeutic success of such a use is 
attested by a brilliant and heroic name. 

St. Chrysostom, 347-407 A.D. 
(Oil from Sanctuary Lamps') 

He is speaking in one of his Homilies, of the 
superiority of the Church over ordinary houses, and 
says of the altar and its lamp 

"For what is here that is not great and awful? 
Thus both this Table [the altar] is far more precious 
and delightful than that [table in your own houses], and 
this lamp than .that [lamp in your own houses] ; and 
this they know, as many as have put away diseases by 
anointing themselves with oil in faith and due season." * 

Here St. Chrysostom is definitely speaking of tlie 
altar-lamp. When, however, the body of a saint 
lay beneath the altar, the oil of such a lamp would, 
in these early times, have been considered " Oil of 

1 Homilies on St. Matt. No. 32. 


the Saints"; and lamps also before pictures are 
mentioned in the passage by Scudamore below, 
while his Western instances are all of lamps from 
the tombs of saints. 

"Oil of the Saints" 

" Far more common are stories of healing" by oil from 
a lamp burnt in honor of Christ or the saints. The 
following examples are from the East The wounded 
hand of a Saracen was healed by oil from a lamp before 
the icon of St. George " ( Mirac. S. Georg. VI, 55 ; Boll. 
Apr. 23.) " St. Cyrus and St. John appeared to a 
person suffering from gout, and bade him take a little 
oil in a small ampulla from the lamp that burnt before 
the image of the Saviour, in the great tetrapyle at Alex- 
andria, 1 and anoint his feet with it" (Vit& SS. Cyr. et 
Joan, 2; Boll, Jan. 31. . .). 

" Similar stories are found in the Western writers. 
Thus Nicetius of Lyons, by means of 'the oil of the 
lamp which burnt daily at his sepulchre, restored sight 
to the blind, drove daemons from bodies possessed, restored 
soundness to shrunken limbs/" etc. (Greg. Tur. Hist. 
Franc., IV., 37). "An epileptic was cured by oil from 
the lamp that burnt night and day at the tomb of St. 
Severin" (Trand. S. Sev., Auct. Joan. Diac., Boll. 8), 
" It was revealed to a blind woman, that oil from the 
lamp of St. Genevieve would restore her sight, if the 
warden of the church were to anoint her with it " (Mirac. 
S. Genof, 14). "A week after she brought a blind 
man, who was healed in the same manner." 2 


This has brought us to the important subject of 
Relics important because their use as a means 

Church at Menuthes, near Alexandria, mentioned 
above on p. 266, Cf. p, 278. 

2 W. Smith and R Cheetham, Dist. of Christian Antiquities, 
Art. " Oil, uses of/' by W. E. Scudamore. 


of faith-healing was not only of early origin, but 
was predominant in the Middle Ages, and has con- 
tinued abundantly down to the present day. The 
very word "relics" has an unpleasant sound, 
because of the abuses and superstitions that grew 
up around the bones, or reputed bones, of the saints ; 
yet there are certain things to be borne in mind if 
we would consider the subject scientifically. 

In the first place, great masters of the spiritual 
life in the early Church believed in the use of relics, 
and their words show that they did do so on the emi- 
nently reasonable ground that saints who helped 
men when they were in the imperfections of the 
flesh could also help when they were with God in 
the freedom of the discarnate life. No one con- 
siders that it is derogatory to God to ask a mundane 
person to help us ; and the Fathers of the Church 
did not hold the view that passage into a better 
world made any difference: they could therefore 
speak of " gifts of healing " as possessed by the dead 
who are alive unto God. So St. Ambrose says in a 
passage already quoted 1 that the " gifts " of men 
come from God just as much as the direct " works " 
of God do, which again is very reasonable " nor 
does it signify whether it is a work or a gift, seeing 
that he confers gifts in his works, and works by his 

It may be well here to set down a similar explana- 
tion from St. Augustine, which serves also as a. 
further illustration of his belief that miracles did 
happen in his own day 

i See p. 249. 


St. Augustine, 426 A.D. 

" But it may be, here they will say, that their gods 
have also wrought wonders: very well, they must come 
now to compare their deities with our dead men. Will 
they say, think you, that they have gods that have been 
men, such as Romulus, Hercules, etc. ? Well, but we 
make no gods of our martyrs; the martyrs and we have 
both but one God, and no more. But the miracles that the 
Pagans ascribe unto their idols, are no way comparable 
to the wonders wrought by our martyrs. But as Moses 
overthrew the enchanters of Pharaoh, so do our martyrs 
overthrow their devils, who wrought those wonders out 
of their own pride, only to gain the reputation of gods. 
But our martyrs {or rather God himself through their 
prayers) wrought unto another end, only to confirm that 
faith which excludes multitudes of gods, and believes 
but in one." 1 

Many, however, would still resent the associa- 
tion of the prayers of the departed with their mortal 
relics. We need not go out of our way to defend it; 
our main business here is to point out that thus it 
was. People in earlier times had a very deep con- 
viction that material things became impregnated 
with spiritual forces. We find this idea continually 
in the Old Testament, and indeed we find it there in 
the case also of relics so that it is difficult to 
understand how English Puritans, who despised the 
very idea of relic-miracles, could yet have accepted 
as the infallible word of God that passage from the 
Jewish chronicle which states that a dead man was 
restored to life by contact with the bones of Elisha. 2 
In the New Testament, as we have seen, St. Paul so 
far countenanced the belief as to allow handker- 

*St. Augustine, The City of God t Bk. XVIII, c. 10. (ed. 
I903, PP- 239). 
2 2 Kings 13 ai . 


chiefs and aprons to be carried to the sick. 1 We 
cannot altogether deny the principle, since it is diffi- 
cult to account for the sacraments of the Gospel 
without allowing at least this much that material 
things may become the effective outward signs, or 
channels, of invisible grace. Many thoughtful peo- 
ple at the present day think that spiritual centres 
the interior of a well-used church, for instance, 
do in a similar way become "charged" with 
spiritual power (we instinctively use the metaphor 
from electricity). They may be wrong; but, with 
our present changed views as to the nature of matter, 
and with our old complacency somewhat shaken by 
psychical research, we shall be wiser not to deny 
that they may possibly be right. Now that the 
physicists compel us to believe that the solid atom 
is really composed of whirling electrons, we shall 
be chary about denying a priori the possibility of 
other invisible influences ; and to some kind of invis- 
ible agencies the orthodox Protestant Christianity 
of to-day is still committed by its belief in angels. 
On the other hand many who are not Christians at 
all consider that such a very material relic as a sealed 
letter can convey impressions about its writer. 

It is at least not impossible that the ancients had 
some grounds for their belief in a certain power of 
relics. But if they were entirely mistaken here, this 
fact most certainly remains that relics awaken 
associations in some minds strong enough to pro- 
duce remarkable results. An ignorant peasant who 
retains the ancient deep simplicity can still be trans- 
formed by such means into a condition that makes 
lActs 19 * 2 . 


him an excellent subject for faith-healing. And 
this instinct of reverence for the deserted tenement 
of a human soul is after all a very deep-seated and a 
very human instinct: It is abundantly shown to- 
day in the practice of visiting the graves of 
departed friends or of famous men; and although I 
personally dislike this custom because it has led to 
the widespread idea that the departed person is 
himself in the grave, or at best haunting the church- 
yard, yet I confess to sharing with my fellow-coun- 
trymen the thrill which we feel on entering 
Westminster Abbey that great national reliquary, 
which assuredly would not be what it is, were there 
no " immortal dust " beneath its pavement. 

"Englishmen," says the strongest Protestant in 
nineteenth century literature, 1 " may well be excused 
if they kiss the cold tomb, as I did, of the author of 
Amelia, the most singular genius which their island 
ever produced." Here then is an instinct which is 
so wide as to merit the epithet " human/' We need 
not be surprised that it had so much play in the 
Christian Church. Had it not been so, the Church 
would have lain open to the graver accusation that 
she was something less than human. 

No doubt the sense of proportion was greatly 
lost ; but that is a fault not peculiar to earlier ages : 
in the twentieth century, also, religion suffers from 
the lack of proportion a lack so great that multi- 
tudes of Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, 
derive much of their theological vitality from con- 
tending with each other. No doubt, again, there 
grew up a miserable traffic in spurious relics, which 

* George Borrow, The Bible in Spain, p. 13. 


has left a grave moral legacy of falsehood and pre- 
tence in those countries where relics have not been 
swept away; but yet we must look at the earlier 
ages from their own point of view : men accepted 
the authenticity of relics in good faith, and thus 
they concentrated their devotions and opened their 
hearts to the loving-kindness of God. The authen- 
ticity of the relics is a side issue, the faith is^the 
main point; and men went on frequenting shrines 
because they often found that their faith made them 
whole. It is with this fact that we are concerned : 
for the greater part of Christian history faith-heal- 
ing was mainly centred in relics, so that probably 
more people have benefited in this way than in any 
other. Unction fell into abeyance as a means of 
healing, and saints were sporadic; but the shrines 
of the saints were permanent institutions, and their 
effects were continuous* 

We learn much about the early use of rehcs from 
the Catacombs of Rome. It used to be thought that 
these vast subterranean galleries formed hiding 
places for ordinary worship; but we now know that 
they were not secret or hidden, but that as burial- 
places they enjoyed the protection of Roman law, 
and that they had entrances open to the public roads : 
their chapels and altars were made for the special 
services that gathered round the commemoration of 
the departed, as the pictures and inscriptions abund- 
antly testify. The altars were for requiem Euchar- 
ists, and the chapels for prayer in the Communion 
of Saints, We know, also, that the reverence felt 
for the bodies of the martyrs and indeed of 
all Christians, was too great to admit of their 


being disturbed, and that for the first seven 
centuries their tombs were as inviolate- as that of 
Shakespeare. There was no taking away of relics 
in the modern sense of the word, but people prayed 
at the tombs themselves. 

The bodies of the martyrs rested in their loculi, 
and visitors who wished to bear something away, 
used either to touch these tombs with some object, 
such as a handkerchief, or else take some of the 
oil from the lamps which very naturally marked 
out these specially-honoured resting places in the 
darkness of the Catacombs. Thus mementoes and 
relics were originally the same thing : there was little 
difference between the " handkerchiefs or aprons " 
which were " carried away " to the sick from the 
body of the living Apostle and the handkerchiefs 
which would certainly have been carried away from 
the tomb when he was dead very little difference, 
indeed, to primitive Christians, who lived nearer to 
death than we, and had an intense realisation of the 
life of the departed. 

The mementoes thus carried away were regarded 
as true relics were in fact what was meant by 
the word; so that when the Lombard Queen, 
Theodelinda, in the time of Gregory the Great 
(590-604), sent the abbot John for relics to put in 
her cathedral at Monza, he carne back with over 
seventy ampull, or little vials of oil, each with the 
name of the saint from whose tomb the oil was 
taken, and many of these are still preserved. 
This use of glass, metal, or clay ampulla was 
almost universal; we are told, for instance, that 
those from the tomb of St. Mennas, in Egypt, 


were spread by pilgrims all over the world. 1 
St. Jerome and Prudentius both describe the 
Catacombs as they were visited by pilgrims in the 
fourth century; and thus they remained for three 
centuries longer; but in the eighth century the Cam- 
pagna became so thoroughly deserted and unsafe 
that the strenuous efforts which had formerly pre- 
served " the crown of martyrs " against the barbar- 
ian invaders were relaxed, and the bodies of the 
martyrs were translated in vast numbers to the 
basilicas of the city, till in the ninth the Catacombs 
were despoiled and deserted. Relic-mongering had 
begun before that But in most other parts of 
the world the tombs of saints were safe from 
desecration. Here, for example, is an English 
instance, described by "Bede, of the healing of 
a paralytic at the tomb of St. Cuthbert though 
the patient has no thought, it will be noticed, 
that it was any other than God who had healed him. 
It took place in 698, eleven years after Cuthbert's 
death, Bede being twenty-five years old at the time ; 
and it will be noticed that the healed man was still 
living and well known when Bede wrote the account. 

Tomb of St. Cuthbertj 698 A.D. 

"There was in that same monastery a brother whose 
name was Bethwegen, who had for a considerable^ time 
waited upon the guests of the house, and is still living-, 
having the testimony of all the brothers and strangers 
resorting thither, of being a man of much piety and 
religion, and serving the office put upon him only for the 
sake of the heavenly reward. This man, having on a cer- 
tain day washed the mantles or garments which he used 
in the hospital, in the sea, was returning home, when 

* W. Lowrie, Christian Art and Archaeology, 1901, p. 80 


on a sudden about half- way, he was seized with a sud- 
den distemper in his body, insomuch that he fell down, 
and having lain some time, he could scarcely rise again. 
When at last he got up, he felt one-half of his body 
from the head to the foot, struck with palsy, and with 
much difficulty he got home with the help of a staff. The 
distemper increased by degrees, and as night approached 
became still worse, so that when day returned, he could 
scarcely rise or walk alone. In this weak condition, a 
good thought came into his mind, which was to go to 
church, the best way he could, to the tomb of the 
reverend father Cuthbert, and there on his knees, to beg 
of the Divine Goodness either to be delivered from that 
disease, if it were for his good, or if the Divine Provi- 
dence had ordained him longer to lie under the same for 
his punishment, that he might bear the pain with patience 
and a composed mind. He did accordingly, and support- 
ing his weak limbs with a staff, entered the church, and 
prostrating himself before the body of the man of God, 
he with pious earnestness, prayed, that through his 
intercession, our Lord might be propitious to him. In 
the midst of his prayers he fell as it were into a stupor, 
and as he was afterwards wont to relate, felt a large and 
broad hand touch his head where the pain lay, and by 
that touch all the part of his body which had been 
affected with the distemper, was delivered from the weak- 
ness, and restored to health down to his feet He then^ 
awoke, and rose up in perfect health, and returning thanks 
to God for his recovery, told the brothers what had hap- 
pened to him ; and to the joy of them all, returned the 
more zealously, as if chastened by his affliction, to the 
service which he was wont before so carefully to per- 
form. The very garments which had been on Cuthbert's 
body, dedicated to God, either while living, or after ^he 
was dead, were not exempt from the virtue of performing 
cures, as may be seen in the book of his life and miracles, 
by such as shall read it." x 

As in the West, so it was In the East St. 
Chrysostom's opinion of the " oil of the saints " we 

iBede's Ecclesiastical History, ed. J. A. Giles, 1894. Bk. 
IV, c. 31. 


have already heard. At Constantinople was the 
tomb of St. Therapon, and we know of six churches 
of the medical Saints Cosmas and Damian, besides 
the churches of Saints Cyrus and John in this 
metropolis, and the great church of St. Michael in 
one of its suburbs, all of which were famous for the 
healing of the sick. At Seleucia in Asia Minor was 
the tomb of St. Thekla, and at Menuthes, near 
Alexandria, the bodies of Saints Cyrus and John 
were venerated by all nations, as Sophronius tells 


In all these Eastern churches, as also in many 
parts of the Western Church, healing was largely 
carried on by what is called Incubation, a subject 
which has been ably examined both in its pagan and 
its Christian aspects by Deubner 1 and by Miss 
Hamilton in the work quoted below. Incubation, 
or " Temple-sleep," was common among the Egyp- 
tians at the temples of Isis and Serapis, and among 
both Greeks and Romans, especially in connection 
with the worship of JEsculapius, whose temples 
were numbered by the hundred; the practice con- 
tinued among Christians, and exists in Greek and 
Italian churches to this day. A method so long con- 
tinued must have justified itself by experience, and 
indeed no better method could be devised in the 
light of modern knowledge than this, which has been 
practised empirically from the dawn of ancient civi- 

The patient, say in the fourth century of the 

1 L. Deubner, De Incubatione, Leipsig, 1900. 


Christian era, went to some church which was 
famous for its cures, and amply provided with 
mattresses or low couches, as well as with priests 
and attendants. There he engaged in his devotions, 
and afterwards lay down to sleep. Sometimes he 
slept deliberately, sometimes he stayed many days 
or weeks, and then fell asleep by chance, or by fast 
and vigil he brought himself into a state of trance. 
In any case, while he slept, he had a dream or vision 
of the saint touching or operating on him, and 
awoke cured ; or else the celestial visitant gave direc- 
tions for the use of some remedy, such as have been 
already mentioned ; 1 and the subsequent use of this 
remedy brought about the cure. Sometimes, again, 
he did not need to sleep, but was instantaneously 
cured merely by his presence and prayers in the 
church, just as happened in the more ordinary pil- 
grimages to shrines. 

There is a good deal of evidence in various writers 
as to Incubation. It may suffice here to give an 
extract from that of Sophronius, the Patriarch of 
Jerusalem already referred to, because his evidence 
is that of a responsible contemporary witness 

Sophronius, f c. 640 A. D. 

'(Incubation at the Shrine of SS. Cynts and John at 
Menuthes in Egypt) 

( We do not give a record of ancient miracles or an 
account of things which were done a long time before, so 
that we are not shielded by a lapse of time, and infidels 
cannot repudiate our stories. Nay, we write what has 
been done in our own time, some of which things we our" 

* See p. 266. 


selves have seen, and some we have heard from others 
who saw them. Also, the majority of those who were 
afflicted and cured still survive in our time, and behold 
the light of the sun, and are witnesses to our truth, and 
themselves relate with their own mouths these ?j things 
for the glory of God and the honor of the saints. 

He tells us why he went himself to the church and 
Tiow he was impressed by what he saw there 

"On account of disease of the eyes I had recourse 
to the martyrs Cyrus and John, and stayed at their 
church. While beholding the multitude of cures, I was 
anxious to find records to tell of the works of the mar- 
tyrs and to proclaim abroad some of their prec*ous 

Like other writers, he is careful to ascribe the 
cures ultimately to God, and for him the saints were 
as living then and as able to succour men as when 
they were in the flesh 

"No one need be surprised if the saints perform the 
same miracles, for from one source, namely, Christ our 
God, Cyrus and John, and Cosmas and Damian, drew 
their cures, and each has and honours one Master, Him 
who grants us the cures through them and works the 
many wonders." a 

And on one occasion the two Saints promise to 
intercede, and they explain that " We are not mas- 
ters of the healing art . . . Christ is dis- 
penser and Guardian. ... We offer interces- 
sion for all alike, and Christ decides whom we 
shall cure/' 

He mentions the cure of many diseases by the 
methods already mentioned : among them are paral- 

i Qu, M. Hamilton, Incubation, 1906, pp. 143-5- 


ysis, dumbness, blindness (in one case a blind man 
waited for eight years at the temple door before he 
received his sight), barrenness, possession, scrofula, 
dyspepsia, a broken leg, deformities of limbs, lame- 
ness, gout, disease of the eyes, cataract, ulcer, 
dropsy. Here, by way of example, is the case of 
one Zosimos, a paralytic, who prayed for three days, 
and then was told to go and wash in a bath. His 
bearers left him on a mattress at the side of the 

" Then Cyrus appeared to the sick man in the form of 
a monk, not in a dream, as he appears to many; but in 
a waking vision, just as he was and is represented. He 
told the patient to rise and plunge into the warm water. 
Zosimos said it was impossible for him to move, but 
when the order was repeated, he slid like a snake into 
the bath. When he got into the water, he saw the saint 
at his side, but when he came out, the vision had van- 
ished." * 

Medieval Shrines 

Mediaeval Europe was a country of shrines, and 
pilgrimage to them was a popular act of devotion in 
England from the Conversion of our race to -the 
Reformation. Rome and Compostella and the 
Holy Land must indeed have been too distant for 
ordinary cases of sickness, but every home had some 
local centre within manageable distance; for there 
were scores of sacred wells, some of which still 
remain, like that of St. Winifred at Holywell near 
Chester, with its beautiful canopy, which is still 
resorted to at this day by the sick. In addition to 
these, every cathedral and most great abbey churches 

1 M. Hamilton, Incubation , p. 156. 


had their frequented shrines, such as to quote 
only some of the best known that of St. Thomas 
at Canterbury, our Lady at Walsingham, St. 
Edward the Confessor at Westminster, St. William 
at York, St. Cuthbert at Durham, St. Thomas at 
Hereford, St. Osmund at Salisbury, St. Erkenwald 
at London, St. Hugh at Lincoln, St. Wulfstan at 
Worcester, Little St. William at Norwich, St. Wer- 
burgh at Chester, St. Frideswide at Oxford, St. 
Audrey at Ely, St. Wilfrid at Rip on, St. Paulinus 
at Rochester, St. Swithun at Winchester, St. 
Edmund at Bury St. Edmunds, and St. Richard at 
Chichester all of these, it will be noticed, except 
the famous centre of Walsingham, being the actual 
tombs of historical personages. The tomb of St. 
Edward the Confessor remains to-day: it escaped 
the violence of the sixteenth century, which, impa- 
tient as it was of the saints, had a mighty respect 
for kings. 

If to these we were to add all the known centres 
of pilgrimage in England, the tombs, and the frag- 
mentary relics, the holy roods and statues, we should 
begin to have some idea of the place which such 
things held in the devotion of mediaeval Christen- 
dom. They did not gain that place without reason : 
indeed, popular canonisation followed the most 
approved scientific methods of experiment, since a 
local worthy was not counted a saint until miracles 
had been wrought at his tomb* 1 The shrines 
existed because people were healed at them, and 
they are themselves the best evidence of the fact 
that people were healed. 

i See p. 289. 


A little while ago we accounted for them on the 
ground of superstition and imposture, which was 
really very unscientific of us ; but now we are able 
to see that they were useful, beneficent centres of 
spiritual and physical helpfulness. Men left their 
homes for a while, and came into a new environ- 
ment, a place sanctified to them by some holy and 
romantic association and surely not unhelped 
by the prayers of the saint they honoured, as well 
as by those of the ministers in the church and of the 
other pilgrims. 

The Pilgrim 

Very solemnly the pilgrim left his home, having 
first confessed himself, and received the church's 
blessing in his parish church at a beautiful serv- 
ice * when his staff and scrip were given to him : 
one of these pilgrim's collects is retained, a little 
monument of English prose, in our present Prayer 
Book, 2 with its references to the perils of the 
journey "Dispose the way of thy servants 
, . . that, among all the changes and chances of 
this mortal life, they may ever be defended by thy 
most gracious and ready help/' 

While he was away, the pilgrim was mentioned 
every Sunday in the Bidding Prayer at his parish 
church, where he hoped to return one day to give 
thanks. He took with him a license obtained 
from the rector, which procured for him kindly 
hospitality at the hostels founded by pious people 

1 It will be found in the Sarum Missal as Servitiwfn, 
Pereffrinorum, Burntisland ed., cols. 8$o*-855*. 

2Th< first- rVilteet after the Ownnrmmon Service. 


on the road and at the journey's end: the perils 
were real and great in an age when a man could be 
lost within the sound of his own city's church- 
bells, as a legacy at St. Peter Mancroft in Nor- 
wich bears witness to this day ; * and we have to 
remember that, though there were necessarily 
many worldly pilgrims because everybody went on 
pilgrimages, yet Chaucer's company gives us only 
one aspect of the most fashionable way of all, and 
causes us to overlook the sick, and the miserable, 
and also the poor who were in the majority then 
as now. Those who were too ill to go long jour- 
neys could often find a holy place near at hand, 
and often to them also were brought by others 
little leaden bottles containing water in which some 
relic had been dipped. 

To how many thousands must it have happened 
that their faith made them whole! The method 
was a wise one. After their solemn initiation they 
went out, feeding upon hope and faith, into new 
surroundings, where, breathing an atmosphere of 
concentrated devotion and helped by many prayers, 
they saw the beautiful and glittering shrine which 
contained something that all men venerated and 
was surrounded by the offerings of grateful 
patients. Then they made the supreme effort: of 
faith, and prayed as men seldom pray in these 
colder times. There was something here better 

x The Mayor lost himself in the dense wood which then 
covered Household Heath, and was in such imminent clanger 
that when the bells of St. Peter's rang out and enabled him 
to find his way into the city, he determined to bequeath a 
sum to pay the sexton for ringing at 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. every 
day " for the help and benefit of travellers," 


than a rest cure, something more comforting to 
many than the nursing homes of Bloomsbury, 
something which the doctors who inhabit the 
gloomy architecture of Harley Street might envy. 
What would happen if we combined these potent 
influences of older times with the science and the 
skill of our own age if, lifting our heads above 
the fond devotion to relics and legends of relics 
which so greatly helped our simpler forefathers, 
we yet bowed these proud imperfect heads of ours 
to pass under the temple door into a fuller presence 
of God? What might not happen if we could bring 
our sick to holy places of rest and prayer, to 
centres of pilgrimage where both religion and 
science were at their best, to churches of deathless 
beauty, hallowed by worship and by sacraments, by 
past associations and by the present efficacy of 
united faith? The rich seek in many watering 
places a substitute where they find a little to help 
them at a high cost: but one thing is lacking, the 
power of vital religion. Once our ancient great 
churches welcomed the poor as well as the rich, 
and gave them the best they had of science and of 
religion, set in. an inspiring atmosphere of har- 
monious beauty that was better than anything we 
have to offer. Their science was in its swaddling 
clothes, their religion had many imperfections; but 
what they had they gave : and we ought to be able 
to give much better, if those glorious churches- 
which they have bequeathed to us should ever 
recover their large, original intention of ministering 
both to the spirit and the body. 



I HAVE spoken of certain methods of religious heal- 
ing external methods by which faith and prayer 
were used to help the sick unction, and the use 
of other materials, relics in the wider sense, incuba- 
tion at sacred places, and the visiting of shrines. 
These take us over the period from the Apostles 
to the Reformation and indeed, in the greater part 
of the Christian world, to the present day, since 
incubation and the visiting of shrines have never 
ceased in the Eastern and the Roman churches. 

In addition to all this, there is right through 
Christian history a continuous record of healing by 
means of the exceptional virtue which belongs to 
those who live very near to God, and whom we 
call saints. Some such stories we have already 
had occasion to note ; 1 but it will be well to give 
a small collection of typical instances, chosen not 
from legendary sources, but from contemporary 
witnesses. I have supplied such a collection in the 
first Appendix to this book. 2 

The material there given will, I think, bear care- 
ful reading. I have not attempted to classify or to 
criticise the very various cases which occur, think- 

i See Chapters XVIII, XIX, XXIV-XXVI. 
3 See Appendix I, pp. 353-400. 



ing it best to let the reader feel for himself the 
impression which they create by their sincerity and 
beauty. Their medical value the critical reader 
must also estimate for himself: I have purposely 
not omitted instances that were very simple on the 
one hand, or those on the other hand which to 
some may still seem incredible. They extend from 
the seventh century to the present day, and medical 
diagnosis in early times was naturally even more 
uncertain than it is now. Still there is much that 
doctors will recognise as familiar; and it will be 
noticed that the character of the cases does not 
change when we reach the nineteenth century. 
There are some in all ages that can be attributed to 
those disturbances of the mind which we call 
hysterical ; but the majority of reported cases in all 
ages are not of this character. 

This collection in the Appendix could have 
been indefinitely extended. Other names, like those 
of St. Benedict and St. Edward the Confessor in 
old times, or Swedenborg and Edward Irving in 
the modern period, will occur to everyone. Indeed, 
in regard to canonised saints it must be remem- 
bered that what are called miracles formed part of 
the evidence which led to their canonisation. 

It is worth while to dwell on this ; because many 
people still think that our forefathers were a 
credulous race, constantly gulled by the mendacity 
of priests, who are supposed to have been inex- 
plicably below the common standard of morality. 
This relic of the thin rationalism of the eighteenth 
century will not bear the light of modern historical 
investigation/ Miracles are not fungus-growths 


in the dark corners of the past: on the contrary 
they occur precisely in the brightest and wisest 
lives, and in periods a,nd places of spiritual enlight- 
enment and revival. ', Nor were our ancestors, 
even in average times, foolish, or quaint, or child- 
ish, as we sometimes fancy. They were common- 
sense, matter-of-fact people; and if we could be 
transported into some past age we should find the 
men and women to be just like ourselves, although 
they had fewer books and less machinery, and did 
not wear such ugly clothes. 

And the authorities both of Church and State 
were particularly alive to the dangers of popular 
credulity, and particularly anxious to investigate 
" feigned miracles " in the lives of reputed saints. 
Their science was, of course, considerably more 
imperfect than our own, but they were excellent 
lawyers, and they appreciated the value of evi- 
dence. A very illuminating illustration of this is 
to be found in the ancient trials for witchcraft 
which have been largely investigated by modern 
French students of hysteria, with the result that 
all our ideas about that subject have been 
reversed. The magistrates did not wantonly con- 
sign ** witches " to their cruel fate at the bidding 
of popular credulity and rumor, 1 They were only 
wrong in attributing the symptoms to the devil ; 
the facts they investigated most conscientiously and 
carefully so thoroughly, indeed, that the records 
of the trials form a valuable field for students of 

1 These trials take us down to comparatively modern times. 
The last known instance of a woman burned for witchcraft 
was at Posen, as late as 1793, 


hysteria, who find in them all the well-known 
symptoms of modern pathology accurately de- 
scribed. 1 

So it is with the enormous mass of healing 
miracles attributed to the saints ; and to procure the 
canonisation of any saint miracles had to be 
proved. As with all historical matter, there are 
many stories for which the extant evidence is 
slight; but there is much also that is exceedingly 
well attested, and in this class must be put all that 
was examined in the processes of canonisation, 
voluminous records of which still exist in the Vati- 
can. They would well repay scientific investiga- 
tion. The procedure of the courts was conducted 
with the utmost rigour: the examiners were men 
of all nations, distinguished for their learning and 
uprightness; no witness was allowed to give evi- 
dence whose character was not beyond reproach: 
the court had to report on the character of every 
witness, and two were required^ for each miracle, 
who had to testify to the nature of the disease 
and the cure, and then to sign their deposition when 
it had been read to them. The evidence was sifted 
to the utmost, and every disqualifying feature was 
made the most of. Indeed the official name of 
the " devil's advocate/' promotor fidei, shows how 
the authorities realised that the cause of criticism 
is also the cause of faith. Benedict XIV had a 
right to say that " the degree of proof required is 
the same as that required for a criminal case, 

* There is a large medical literature on the subject. JBee, 
for instance, the volumes of the Bibliothdque diabolique, 
edited by Dr. Bourneville, Paris : Alcan. 



since the cause of religion and piety is that of the 
commonweal/' l 

These mediaeval miracles, therefore, deserve 
respectful treatment; and the cumulative^ evidence 
of so much concurrent testimony by distinguished 
and upright men makes it impossible to think that 
they were all deluded and mistaken. 

This must be remembered in estimating the 
therapeutic miracles of the saints which we so 
often come upon in our ordinary reading. In the 
selection I have given, 1 have purposely not con- 
fined myself to those men and women who^have 
been given official canonisation. My list is as 

St. Bernard, 1091-1153 

St. Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226 

St. Thomas of Hereford, f 1282- (1303). 

St Catharine of Siena, I347- I 3 8 

Martin Luther, 1483-1546 

St. Francis Xavier, 1506-1552 

St. Philip Neri, I5i5~ r 595 

Pascal's Niece, 1646 

George Fox, 1624-1691 

John Wesley, 1703-1791 

Prince Hohenlohe, 1794-1849 

Father Mathew, 1790-1856 

Dorothea Triidel, 1813-1862 

Pastor Blumhardt, 1805-1880 

Father John of Cronstadt, 1829-1908 

Let me conclude this chapter in the words of 
one who lived in the height of the materialistic 
reaction, and who saw beyond it. Richard Holt 
Hutton is justly esteemed as one of the most pro- 

i Benedict XIV, Cultus Sanctorum, Torn, III, lib. Ill, p. *& 


found and broad-minded writers of that period. 
In the following extracts he combines, as they 
should be combined, the principles underlying the 
works of Our Lord with those of the servants who 
have trodden in his footsteps 

" Again, even as to the doctrine of miracles, in which 
it is generally assumed that Christ taught what science 
has exploded, I think it will be found that just the re- 
verse is true Christ certainly taught, and taught most 
repeatedly, that there was no such thing in the moral 
world as magical transformations without previous prep- 
aration of the spirit. No wonder, he said, would trans- 
form a man who had not used the ordinary means at his 
disposal for the same end. . . . All Christ's teaching 
was , . . that the divine grace in man has as much 
its regular and orderly methods as the divine life in 
physical nature. But then, in spite of all this, Christ 
claimed to give sudden succour both to the physical and 
moral life of men to heal the sick without visible or 
gradual remedies, and to pardon sin and renew the 
divine life in the soul without any necessary interval 
of external discipline or visible expiation. No doubt he 
did. But it would be a great mistake, I think, to sup- 
pose that in so doing he " suspended " any natural law. 
On the contrary, he was but infusing in a higher degree 
into the order of nature that predominating influence of 
a commanding personality which, in a much lower degree, 
we have plenty of evidence that other human beings, by 
virtue of their spiritual union with God, or of some high 
natural gift, have infused into it in other countries and 
ages of the world. I do not believe that * miracles ' are, 
or could be r ' suspensions ' of natural laws. They are 
but the modifications of the results of those laws caused 
by the introduction into the agencies at work of the in- 
fluence of controlling spirits of unusual power. 

" But whatever miracles be, I think history shows a 
great amount of evidence . , . that such events have 
happened in all ages, . . . Enthusiasm and fraud can- 
not reasonably be asked to account for so much evidence 
on this subject as really exists* . , . 


" I quite agree with those men of science who say 
that there is no difference in kind between any real di- 
vine answer to prayer and miracles. All divine answer 
to prayer must involve the infusion of some new influ- 
ence into that chain of antecedents and consequents 
which would otherwise constitute human life. It seems 
to me, therefore, that all who really believe in the an- 
swer to prayer should be quite ready to accept, or re- 
fuse to accept, an alleged miracle, according as the evi- 
dence for it is strong or weak." x 

1 R. H. Hutton, Essays Theological and Literary. I. Pref- 
ace to 2nd ed., 1877. 



THE atmosphere of the last three centuries has not 
been favourable to faith-healing; and we shall find 
it no longer as a general and accepted practice, but 
as a phenomenon which persisted here and there 
in the face of a growing scepticism. No doubt 
it was more general in the Eastern Church than in 
the Roman, and more general in the Roman 
Church than with us ; but in so far as the modern 
spirit spread, faith-healing was relegated to the 
superstitious,, Christianity itself was everywhere 
passing through a hard stage; men who no longer 
believed in the saints believed terribly in witches; 
hell was more thought of than heaven, and the sal- 
vation of the soul from the unspeakable torments 
was too urgent for much thought to be given to the 
salvation of the body. To our forefathers the 
typical Christian was he of the immortal Allegory, 
in flight from the City of Destruction, preoccupied 
with the one thought of how to save at any cost his 
own soul. Nor was the French Pascal less stern 
than the English Bunyan, though indeed he did 
believe in faith-healing. 1 

On the other hand the " broad-church " influ- 
ences of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 

* See Appendix I, p. 374. 



were not, as they now are, in the direction of the 
divine-immanence, but in the precisely opposite 
direction: Deism was the creed of advanced men 
the belief in a Deity remote, and cold, a Sultan 
in the sky, who, having once made this wretched 
world, watched it complacently from afar. And 
Deism easily toppled over into Atheism. The great 
achievement of the nineteenth century was that it 
rescued mankind from these two conceptions the 
orthodox religion of fear and the latitudinarian 
religion of vacancy which were mingled together 
in the creed of average conventional men, and still 
form the background of many minds. 

Looking back, therefore, to the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries, we should naturally expect 
to find faith-healing only in customs which carried 
on the older ideas through sheer conservatism, 
and in a few holy persons here and there who lived 
near enough to God for their originality to survive 
the spirit of their age. 

And so it is. In England faith-healing- continued 
through one custom which is supposed to have 
begun with Edward the Confessor 1 Touching 
for the King's Evil. James I wished to drop it as 
an outworn superstition, but was warned by his 
ministers that to do so would be to abate a 
prerogative of the Crown : so the rite continued as 
long as the Stuarts remained on the throne, and 
was still printed in the early part of George Ts 
reign, copies of it being published in some Prayer 
Books between Charles I and the year ijity? All 

earliest known form is that used by Henry VII* 
' Diary t ed. H. B. Wheatley, 1904, I, p. 182, n* 


this was characteristic enough. Englishmen no 
longer believed in the efficacy of the saints, but 
they had a redoubled faith in that of the monarch ; 
and the Church of England in the age of the Stuarts 
spent herself over the Divine right of kings. 

We are not concerned to defend the belief that 
supernatural power emanated from royal hands, 
any more than it emanated from canonised bones; 
but those who held that belief no doubt were able 
to obtain spiritual help even through so grotesque 
a medium as James I. Like Moses in the old 
legend, they struck the rock and water gushed 
forth. It is strange that scientific men should have 
rested content with the superficial view that those 
who sought the King's touch were merely the vic- 
tims of a superstition, while all the time they had 
in the Gospels the true explanation of all such 
phenomena the explanation which our Lord gave 
when he taught that it was men's faith that made 
them whole. 

Certainly people went In great numbers to be 
touched for scrofula by the King; and they went 
because cures occurred. Burn says that no less than 
92,107 persons received this imposition of hands 
between 1660 and I682; 1 and already, before the 
Restoration, Charles II had in one month touched 
260 people at Breda, as well as others at other times 
and places abroad, and " it was not without success, 
since it was the experience that drew thither every 
day a great number of those diseased even from the 
most remote provinces of Germany." 2 Nor was it 

* Burn, History of Parish Registers, 1862, p. 179. 

a Sir William Lower, Relation of the Voyage and Residence 


only the poor and ignorant who came : we read in a 
MS. letter of the reign of Charles I "My Lord 
Anglesey had a daughter cured of the King's Evil 
with three others on Tuesday." l 

We have seen that Charles II laid hands on nearly 
a hundred thousand persons. In the next reign 
Evelyn tells us that in 1684, " there was so great a 
concourse of people with their children to be touched 
for the Evil, that six or seven were crushed to 
death by pressing at the chirurgeon's door for 
tickets/ 7 2 According to Macaulay the expense of 
the ceremony was about ten thousand pounds a 
year; 3 it was a function that all the gay world 
flocked to see. Pepys mentions it in 1660 and 1661 ; 
and Evelyn gives a description of a Touching in 
1660, which is quoted below. To the last there were 
physicians who believed in it, as we learn from the 
interesting account which Boswell gives of the 
Touching by Queen Anne of the little Samuel 
Johnson, with some 200 others, in 1712. 

Dr. Johnson. 

"His mother, yielding to the superstitious notion, 
which, it is wonderful to think, prevailed so long in 
this country, as to the virtue of the royal touch ; a notion 
which our kings encouraged, and to which a man of such 
inquiry and such judgment as Carte could give credit, 
carried him to London, where he was actually touched 
by Queen Anne. Mrs. Johnson, indeed, as Mr. Hector 
informed me, acted by the advice of the celebrated Sir 

'which Charles II hath made in Holland. The Hague, i66p> 
p. 7& 

1 Letter of W. Greenhill to Lady Bacon, dated Dec, 3*st, 
1629, preserved at Audley End. Quoted Pepys' Diary, 1904, 
I, p. 182, n. 

2 Evelyn's Diary, Ed. W. Bray, 1850, II, p. 195. 

3 Macaulay 's History, c. 14. 


John Floyer, then a physician in Lichfield. . . . This 
touch, however, was without any effect" x 

" * It appears by the newspapers of the time/ says Mr. 
Wright, quoted by Croker, ' that on March 30, 1712, two 
hundred persons were touched by Queen Anne/ " z 

Let us now give the actual service that was used, 
taking our example from a Prayer Book of Queen 
Anne's reign; and to this we will append Evelyn's 
description of the ceremonial that was used. 

"At the Healing. 

" Prevent us, O Lord, . . . Amen [as at end of Com- 

" The Holy Gospel is written in the i6th Chapter of 
Saint Mark, beginning at the I4th verse. 

" Jesus appeared unto the Eleven . . . with signs fol- 

" Let us pray. Lord have mercy upon us ... Our 

"f Then shall the infirm Persons, one by one t be pre- 
sented to the Queen upon their knees f and^ as every one 
is presented, and while the Queen is laying her hands 
upon them, and putting the gold about their necks, the 
Chaplain that officiates, turning himself to her Majesty, 
shall say these words following: 

' God give a blessing to this Work ; And grant that these 
sick Persons, on whom the Queen lays her Hands, may 
recover, thro* Jesus Christ our Lord/ 

1 Boswcll's Life of Johnson, Ed. G, Birkbeck Hill, 1887, 
Vol. I, p. 42. 
L, n. 3. 


" f After all have been presented, the Chaplain shall say, 

' Vers. O Lord, save thy servants. Resp. Who put 
their trust in thee. 

These Answers are < ]/ er s. Send them help from thy holy 

iff be made by them , 
that come to be healed. place. 

' Resp. And evermore mightily defend 

f Vers. Help us, O God of our Salvation. 

' Resp. And for the glory of thy Name, deliver us, and 
be merciful to us sinners, for thy Name's sake. 

f Vers. O Lord, hear our prayers. Resp. And let 
our cry come unto thee. 

"Let us pray. 

O Almighty God, who art the giver of all health, and 
the aid of them that seek to thee for succour, we call upon, 
thee for thy help and goodness mercifully to be shewed 
upon these thy servants, that they being healed of their 
Infirmities, may give thanks unto thee in thy holy 
Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen! 

"Y Then the Chaplain, standing with his face towards 
them that come to be healed, shall say f 

6 The Almighty Lord who is a most strong tower . , . 
[As in the service for the Visitation of the sick] 

'The grace . . . evermore. Amen?"* 

(Prom Evelyn's Diary, 1660, July 6th.) 

"His Majesty began first to touch for the evil, ac- 
cording to custom, thus: his Majesty sitting under his 
state in the Banqueting House, the chirurgeons cause the 
sick to be brought, or led, up to the throne, where they 
kneeling, the King strokes their faces, or cheeks, with 

1 The Book of Common Prayer, London, Chas. Bill & Co., 


both his hands at once, at which instant a chaplain in 
his formalities says, * He put his hands upon them, and 
he healed them.' This is said to everyone in particular. 
When they have been all touched, they come up again in 
the same order, and the other chaplain kneeling, and 
having angel gold 1 strung on white ribbon on his arm, 
delivers them one by one to his Majesty, who puts them 
about the necks of the touched as they pass, whilst the 
first chaplain repeats, * That is the true light who came 
into the world/ Then follows an epistle (as at first a 
Gospel) with the Liturgy, prayers for the sick, with some 
alteration; lastly, the blessing; and then the Lord 
Chamberlain and the Comptroller of the Household bring 
a basin, ewer and towel for his Majesty to wash." 

After Queen Anne the last link in the Anglican 
Communion of any liturgical healing of the sick is 
supplied in the Non-juring service for Anointing, 
and the practice of Scottish bishops down to the 
nineteenth century, which matters form the subject 
of our next chapter. 

1 The Coin called an angel, of the value of ten shillings : 
it had the figure of the Archangel Michael on one side and 
a ship in full sail on the other. The monarch " crossed the 
sore of the sick person, with it," "and the angel was hanged 
about the patient's neck till the cure was perfected." Note 
already cited from Wheatley's edition of Pepys, I, p. 182. 




The Rite since the Reformation; The Present Eng- 
lish Prayer Book; The Revival of Unction 
in the Anglican Church. 

THE Anointing of the Sick forms so important a 
chain in the Christian history of faith-healing that 
we are obliged to give it more prominence than some 
perhaps would desire; and, for the reason that it 
does link tip the various periods we have to deal 
with in three different parts of this book. 1 

At this stage it forms a convenient link between 
the first fifteen centuries and the present day, espe- 
cially for us English folk. Let us, therefore, before 
we speak of the agencies in other parts of Europe 
conclude the subject of Unction in so far as it con- 
cerns the Anglican Communion both here and in 
other parts of the world. 

The Rite since the Reformation 
The Prayer Book of 1549 

The Rite was not dropped in the first English 
Prayer Book (1549), but continued in a modified 

* See Chapters XXII-XXIII, and XXV. 


form to be part of the service for the Visitation of 
the Sick. Here it is 

"f If the sick person desire to be anointed, then shall 
the Driest anoint him upon the forehead or breast only, 
making the sign of the cross, saying thus, 

" As with this visible oil thy body outwardly is 
anointed; so our heavenly Father, Almighty God, grant 
of his infinite goodness that thy soul inwardly may be 
anointed with the holy Ghost, who is the spirit of all 
strength, comfort, relief, and gladness. And vouchsafe 
for his great mercy (if it be his blessed will) to restore 
unto thee thy bodily health, and strength, to serve him; 
and send thee release of all thy pains, troubles, and 
diseases, both in body and mind. And howsoever his 
goodness (by his divine and unsearchable providence) 
shall dispose of thee: we, his unworthy ministers and 
servants, humbly beseech the eternal majesty to do with 
thee according to the multitude of his innumerable mer- 
cies, and to pardon thee all thy sins and offences, com- 
mitted by all thy bodily senses, passions, and carnal af- 
fections: who also vouchsafe mercifully to grant unto 
thee ghostly strength by his Holy Spirit, to withstand 
and overcome all temptations and assaults of thine ad- 
versary, that in no wise he prevail against thee, but that 
thou mayest have perfect victory and triumpli against 
the devil, sin, and death, through Christ our Lord; who 
by his death hath overcome the prince of death, and with 
the Father and the Holy Ghost evermore liveth and 
reigneth, God, world without end. Amen. 

" Usque quo, Dominef Psalm xiii. 

How long wilt thou forget me, . . . 

Glory be to the ... As it was in the . . ," 

In the Second Prayer Book (1552) the Anoint- 
ing was dropped altogether. It may be that the 
times were unripe for a revival of the apostolic 
teaching, and that the revisers were right in pro- 


viding no form at all, rather than risk the perpetua- 
tion of the mediaeval notion that Unction existed 
for the absolution of the dying. 1 Even in the beau- 
tiful prayer just quoted from the First Prayer Book, 
there are clear traces of this idea in the words "to 
pardon thee," etc. words which our bishops now 
oniit when they authorise this form. The absolu- 
tion of the sick is amply provided for in our present 
service for the Visitation of the Sick ; and, natural 
as it is to combine the two thoughts, it is necessary 
to keep a clear distinction between the services, lest 
the real purpose of Unction should again be for- 

The seventeenth century gives us no official rec- 
ords of spiritual healing in England, except the 
Touching for the King's Evil described in the last 
chapter, and the 72nd Canon of 1603 which 
requires " Ministers ... not ... to Exor- 
cise, but by Authority/' 2 Unction remained in 

The Nonfurors and Unction 

The desire, however, which had been felt for the 
restoration of Unction in its Scriptural form, with 

1 See Chapter XXII. 

2 "No minister or ministers shall, without licence ana di- 
rection of the bishop . . . attempt under any pretence 
whatsoever, either of possession or obsession, by fasting and 
prayer, to cast out any devil or devils, under pain of the 
imputation of imposture or cosenage." (Canon 72). A min- 
ister, that is to say, required a license to exorcise just as 
he did to preach, This was because the Puritans used to 
have competitions with the clergy jn the casting t out of 
devils. The Canon, by enforcing episcopal supervision, put 
an end to that scandal, and its ultimate result was to dis- 
courage exorcism altogether. 


a view to the recovery of the sick person is shown 
by the fact that services were drawn up by the Non- 
jurors. Here is that of 1718 1 

" The Anointing with Oil in the Office for the Sick is 
not only supported by Primitive Practice, but commanded 
by the Apostle S. James. It is not here administered by 
way of Extreme Unction, but in order to Recovery. 

"\ When any Person is sick, notice shall immediately 
be given thereof to the Priest; that the sick person may 
be visited, and receive the Assistance of the Church, be- 
fore his strength be too far spent. 

fe ^ The Priest coming into the sick person's house, 
shall say, 

( Peace be to this house, and to all that dwell in it.' 

"f When he cometh into the sick man's presence, he 
shall say, 

6 Is any sick among you ? let him call for the Elders, 
that is, the Priests of the Church, and let them pray over 
him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord: 
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the 
Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, 
they shall be forgiven him/ " James v. 14, 15. 

"T Then the* Priest shall take some sweet Oil of 
Olives; and putting it in a decent Vessel, he shall stand 
and consecrate it according to the form following. l O 
Almighty Lord God, who hast taught us by thy Holy 
Apostle Saint James to anoint the sick with oil, that they 
may attain their bodily health, and render thanks unto 
thec, for the same ; look down, we beseech thee, and bless 
and sanctify this thy creature of oil, the juice of the 
olive; Grant, that those who shall be anointed there- 
with, may be delivered from all pains, troubles, and dis- 

1 (A Communion Office taken partly from Primitive Litur- 
gies, and partly from the First English Reformed Common- 
Prayer-Book: together with Offices far Confirmation and the 
Visitation of the Sick, London: James Bettenham, 1718.) 


eases both of body and mind, and from all the snares, 
temptations, and assaults of the powers of darkness, 
through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son ; who, with thee 
and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever one God, 
world without end. Amen.' 

"T This Prayer of Benediction is not to be used again, 
until the consecrated Oil be all spent. 

"f Then shall the Priest anoint the sick Person upon 
the forehead, making the sign of the Cross, and saying, 
'As with this visible oil' . . . [as in the First 
Prayer Book of Edward VI]. 

"f The sick person shall be anointed as often as he dc- 
sireth at the discretion of the Priest. 

"f Then the Priest shall bless the sick person, saying, 
'Unto God's gracious mercy' . * . [as in the Book 
of Common Prayer], 

Dr. Thomas Deacon, the Non-juror, who was 
consecrated a Bishop in 1733, and died in 1753,, 
reprinted this prayer for consecrating the oil, reserv- 
ing it to the bishop with the following rubrical 

" When the Oil for the sick is to be consecrated, the 
Deacon, immediately after^ the Nicene Creed in the Eu- 
charistic Service, shall bring a proper quantity of sweet 
Oil of Olives in a decent vessel to the Bishop, who shall 
place it upon the Altar; and turning to the People, he 
shall say: 

" The Lord be with you. 
tf Answ. And with thy spirit 
" Then shall the deacon say to the People, 
" Let us pray, 

"Then the People shall kneel down: and the Bishop 
turning to the Altar f and standing before it, shall say the 
following prayer: O Almighty Lord God, who hast 
taught us ... [as in the service of 1718 above, with 
the following rubrical direction] . * . and sane 


(here the Bishop is to make the sign of the Cross over 
the Oil) this thy creature. . . . 

" Then the People shall rise, and the Deacon shall carry 
the consecrated Oil into the Vestry, or to some other con- 
venient place" x 

The Nbn- jurors were in close alliance with the 
Scottish bishops, and their usages had a consider- 
able effect in the Episcopal Church of that coun- 
try: Unction was thus in use there during the 
eighteenth century, and down to the nineteenth, so 
that it has never entirely died out in our Com- 
munion. 2 

The Present English Prayer Book 

If we turn to those parts of our present Book of 
Common Prayer which deal with the sick, it must 
be confessed that the ancient teaching of Christen- 
dom has been reduced to a minimum. The Bishop 
of Salisbury, in explaining the absence of Unction, 
for the satisfaction of members of the Eastern 
Church, made the very most of what remains when 
he said that the Church of England " provides a 
special office for the Visitation of the Sick, with 
prayers for the sick man's recovery, .and it enjoins 
upon its bishops in particular to * heal the sick/ " 3 
For, in the first place, the prayers in the Visitation 
are almost entirely confined to the spiritual welfare 
of the sick man ; they contain only one or two sen- 

1 Deacon's Complcat Collection of Devotions, 1734, p. 227, 

2 There is a MS. form for the Unction of the Sick on the 
fly-leaf of a Prayer Book of Bishop Jolly of Moray, who, 
died in 1832. f , 

John Wordsworth, Bishop of Salisbury, Teaching of the* 
Church of England . . . for the Information of Ortho- 
dox Christians in the East, 1904, pp. 19* 29. 


tences about recovery, and these are placed in a not 
very hopeful context. 1 In fact, the Visitation con- 
tains only just sufficient mention of recovery to 
make it possible for use at the bedside of one who 
hoped to get well, and it is probably for this reason 
that it is seldom, if ever, asked for by sick persons. 2 
There is, indeed, a beautiful prayer, " O Lord, look 
down," and a beautiful form of blessing at the end, 
both of which can be offered with the intention of 
recovery, though they do not state this intention. 
And that is all When we condemn the Roman 
service of Unction because it is used for the absolu- 
tion of the dying, we must in fairness admit that 
it still contains far more prayer for divine help in 
recovery than our own office of Visitation. 

As for the Charge given to a bishop at his conse- 
cration to "heal the sick," one is interested to hear 
on such high authority as that of the Bishop of 
Salisbury that the words are to be taken literally, at 
least when we endeavour to explain our disuse of 
Unction for the benefit of Eastern Christians. The 
command is certainly literal in the New Testament. 
But unfortunately the Prayer Book puts the words 
in such a context as to make them very clearly 
metaphorical " Hold up the weak, heal the sick, 
bind up the broken, bring again the out-casts, 
seek the lost," 3 which is worlds away from the 
Gospel original " Heal the sick, raise the dead, 

1 " And to grant that he may take his sickness patiently, 
and recover his bodily health (if it be thy gracious will), 
and whensoever his soul shall depart from the body, etc," 
Visitation of the Sick. 

2 This is acknowledged in Resolution 25 of the Lambeth 
Conference quoted below. 

8 Consecration of Bishops. 


cleanse the lepers, cast out daemons; freely ye have 
received, freely give." x 

Men talked a great deal about the return to Scrip- 
ture when our English Prayer Book was being 
revised under foreign influence in 1552, but they 
accepted only so much of the New Testament as 
they chose. Assuming that it was necessary to drop 
the form of anointing in 1552, it would have been 
possible to have substituted the laying-on of hands, 
or at least to have provided opportunities for urgent 
and concentrated intercession in the power of hope 
and faith ; Unction might have been laid aside for a 
while without there being also laid aside that prayer 
of faith which shall save him that is sick. 

We shall be better able to justify ourselves to 
the Orthodox Christians of the East when we can 
point out not only that the sick are anointed " in 
order to recovery " by individuals here and there 
with the tacit approval of many bishops, but also 
that this Apostolic practice has the formal author- 
isation of the English Church as a whole. 

Meanwhile the profoundest and most precious 
teaching about the union of body and soul, and the 
consequent happy effects of spiritual grace upon the 
health of the body, is contained, not in the Visita- 
tion of the Sick, but in the Communion Service, 
where providentially the mediaeval form of adminis- 
tration has not been lost ; 2 for though the influence 
of the foreign Reformers caused it to be omitted, 
with Unction and many other things, in 1552, it 
was recovered at the next Revision of the Prayer 
Book in 1559 

*Mt. 10 8 , 

a *' Custodial corpus tuum et animam tuam in vitam xter- 


" The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given 
for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting 

" The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed 
for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting 

The Revival of Unction in the Anglican Church 

In the second half of the nineteenth century the 
practice of Unction was restored occasionally here 
and there ; but the progress was slow, partly because 
the fact of spiritual healing was not then under- 
stood, and partly because it was generally thought 
that only a bishop could set apart the oil. 1 It was 
natural that this action should have come at first 
from Scottish and American bishops. In recent 
years, however, the rapidly growing belief in 
spiritual healing has led to a widespread desire for 
Unction, and it has been used " in a great many 
places with very blessed results " ; and " in more 
than one diocese, with the actual sanction of the 
Bishop," there was used " a form which was modi- 
fied from the first Prayer Book of Edward the Sixth 
by one of the present bishops of our Church." 2 

It was, indeed, obvious that, as soon as the desire 
arose, there was no legitimate means of preventing 
it. The 72nd Canon, already quoted, showed that 
:he Church does not require her clergy to confine 

iam." Sarum and York Manuals. (See York Manual $ur- 
ees Society, LXIII, pp. 52, 51*.) In the time of Gregory the 
jreat the words "corpus tuum" do not seem to have been 
ret introduced. 

1 See pp. 238, 258. 

2 Paper read at the Worcester Diocesan Conference, Nov. 
?8th, 1907, by Dr, Louis George Mylne, sometime Bishop of 


themselves to services provided in the Prayer Book 
when they visit the sick; nor had any such impos- 
sible restriction ever existed. It was clear that a 
parish priest could minister to a sick parishioner 
by the use of oil as much as by the laying-on of 
hands, or extempore prayer, or any other Christian 
and charitable action for which warrant is to be 
found in the New Testament. It was clear also that 
a priest desiring to obey the precept of an Apostle 
could not very well be forbidden by a bishop who 
claimed to be a descendant of the Apostles, Cer- 
tain principles therefore stood out uncontrovertibly : 
a parish priest could not refuse to follow St. James* 
precept, if a sick parishioner desired it; a bishop 
could not prohibit obedience to the Apostle; nor 
could the Apostolic Unction in itself be legitimately 
forbidden by any group of bishops ; but bishops had 
the power to regulate the method and to guard it 
from superstition and abuse. 1 

Thus, when the matter came up before the Lam- 
beth Conference in 1908, the time was ripe; and 
the bishops of the whole Anglican Church took the 
momentous step of recognising the existence of Unc- 
tion within the English Church. It is true that the 
recognition is given cautiously, and even, it would 
appear, grudgingly, in the Resolution (No. 33) 
adopted by the majority of the bishops, 2 and the 
first paragraph of this Resolution is open to serious 

1 These principles were worked out in F. W. Puller's 
Anointing of the Sick, 1904, chap. 9. 

x The minority of bishops, who desired a fuller and franker 
recognition, was, I am told by an American prelate, almost 
as numerous as the majority. 


criticism ; 1 but none the less the four Resolutions 
as a whole are a declaration of the highest import- 
ance. The Conference, called upon for the first time 
to pronounce on this subject, might well defer the 
occasion for sanctioning a form of the Anointing; 
and, though we could wish their declaration had been 
rather differently worded, we cannot but rejoice that 
apostolic Unction has once more found a place 
within the English Church. 2 

We print the Resolutions below. The first of 
them, No. 33, is an admirable statement of the ortho- 
dox Christian faith as to inner health and spiritual 

Resolutions of the Lambeth Conference, 1908 

"33. With regard to Ministries of healing, this Con- 
ference, confident that God has infinite blessings and pow- 
ers in store for those who seek them by ^prayer, com- 
munion, and strong- endeavour, and conscious that the 
clergy and laity of the Church have too often failed to- 
turn to God with such complete trust as will draw those 
powers into full service, desires solemnly to affirm that 
the strongest and most immediate call to the Church is 
to the deepening and renewal of her spiritual life; and 
to urge upon the Clergy of the Church so to set forth 
to the people Christ, the Incarnate Son of Cod, and the 
truth of His abiding Presence in the Church and in 
Christian souls by the Holy Spirit, that all may realise 
and lay hold of the power of the indwelling Spirit to 
sanctify both soul and body, and thus, through a harmony 
of man's will with God's Will, to gain a fuller control 
over temptation, pain, and disease, whether for them- 
selves or others, with a firmer serenity and a more confi- 
dent hope. 

1 Especially in the light of the accompanying Report of 
the Committee, which I have ventured to criticise on p. 253^ 

2 A modern service of Unction is described in Appendix 
HI, p. 414. 


" 34. With a view to resisting dangerous tendencies in 
contemporary thought, the Conference urges the Clergy 
in their dealings with the sick to teach as clearly as pos- 
sible the privilege of those who are called, through sick- 
ness and pain, to enter especially into the fellowship 
of Christ's sufferings and to follow the example of His 

" 35. The Conference recommends the provision for use 
in Pastoral Visitation of some additional prayers for the 
restoration of health more hopeful and direct than those 
contained in the present Office for the Visitation of the 
Sick, and refers this recommendation to the Committee 
to be appointed by the President under the Resolution on 
the subject of Prayer Book enrichment. 

"36. The Conference, having regard to the uncer- 
tainty which exists as to the permanence of the practice 
commended by St. James (v. 14), and having regard 
to the history of the practice which professes to be based 
upon that commendation, does not recommend the sanc- 
tioning of the anointing of the sick as a rite of the 

" It does not, however, advise the prohibition of all 
anointing, if anointing be earnestly desired by the sick 
person. In all such cases the Parish Priest should seek 
the counsel of the Bishop of the diocese. Care must be 
taken that no return be made to the later custom of 
anointing as a preparation for death." * 

i Conference of Bishops . , . at Lambeth, S. P. C. K., 
1908, pp. 54-5. The student who wishes to compare other rites 
of "Unction with those mentioned above in Chapters XXII- 
XXII I, XXV, and XXIX, will find the present Eastern service 
in the Euchologion, and an English translation in G. V. Shann, 
Book of Needs. Early Mediaeval Western forms are in E. 
Maricnc, DC Antiquis Ritibits Ecclcsicc, I, 7; Mediaeval Eng- 
lish forms in the York Manual, ed. W. G. Henderson (Surtees 
Society, Vol. 63), which includes a collation of the, Sarum 
Manual and that of Hereford ; or in W. Maskell, Monumcnta 
Ritualia Ecclesia Anglican ^ and the modern Latin forms in 
the Ritualia of Rome and Milan. 



America and Europe; The Shrines of Greece 

ENGLISHMEN have been apt to forget how general 
is still the practice of religious healing, especially 
outside the island of Great Britain. Yet when we 
cross either the Irish or the British Channel we have 
only to open our eyes, and the holy wells of Ireland 
fluttering with their little eloquent bits of rag, or 
the shrines of the Continent, loaded with gold and 
silver thank-offerings, will make us aware of a wide- 
spread phenomenon which hitherto we probably 
have passed over in unconcerned contempt. 

These have a special interest because they have 
gone on from time immemorial, and they need 
special mention because their flourishing condition 
is little realised in this country. But it has to be 
borne in mind that there has been far more faith- 
healing even in England than is generally known. A 
few years ago a conference of some 2,000 faith-heal- 
ers was held at the Agricultural Hall in London, at 
which 1 20 English faith-healing centres were repre- 
sented ; there are such centres, too, in the Colonies, 
and "prayer-healing" circles exist in Protestant 
Prussia. On the other side of the Atlantic, one need 
hardly say, the movement is enormous. Nor is it 
new. Just as in England we had the Peculiar Peo- 



pie and more than one Beth Shan, sects of the old- 
fashioned type, before the newer movements came 
over from America, so in America itself, before 
Christian Science with its million of members and 
before the other Inner-health movements which 
differ greatly from Christian Science, there was 
Phineas P. Quimby (1802-1866), from whom Mrs. 
Eddy got her ideas ; * and there were older faith- 
healing sects, such as the Shakers, whp were 
founded in New York by Anne Lee in 1774. Chris- 
tian Science does not vouchsafe us any evidence, 
and therefore is of little use for this purpose ; but 
some of the Mental Healing centres have been open 
as to their cures, an example of which is given in the 
Appendix. 2 

No one has yet attempted, so far as I know, the 
gigantic task of collecting and examining the faith- 
healing agencies in East, and West, and Far West 
Christendom at the present day. We need go no 
further than Normandy, and we find healing centres 
at the springs of Fecamp or Grand- Andely ; we 
travel further afield and in every Roman Catholic 
country we see abundant evidence, without having 
to go to Lourdes. In Austria, for instance, at 
Mariazell, Styria, the church is visited by 200,000 
pilgrims a year, and has been a centre of healing 
since the year 1157. 

In Italy we find churches like that of S. Maria 
deir Arco, near Naples, which has been a local 
Lourdes for four hundred years, and provides an 

1 The whole story is well and fairly told by Mr. Lyman P. 
Powell, Christian Science, the Faith and its Founder (Put- 
nam's), 1907. 

8 Appendix II, p. 406. 


official pamphlet giving the names of over a hundred 
cases of healing out of the crowds to which the 
votive offerings, covering the interior of the church, 
bear witness : here, too, as at Amalfi, Palermo, and 
other places, the ancient practice of Incubation is 
practised. 1 

The Shrines of Greece 

And so we might continue; but it will be more 
useful to give fuller particulars of the Eastern 
Church, since most travellers do not penetrate so 
far into Europe, and Englishmen have an unfor- 
tunate habit of ignoring this ancient part of Catholic 
Christendom. We are too apt to assume that the 
frequenting of holy places is peculiar to the Roman 
Church, and we forget that the Orthodox Church 
of the East has more than one Lotirdes. 

I do not know that anyone has told us about Rus- 
sian practices in this connection, but Miss Hamilton, 
in her investigations of Incubation, the ancient 
practice of sleeping* in pagan temples which is 
still continued among the Christians of Greece and 
South Italy, where the climate renders it con- 
venient has visited several great churches in 
Greece, and from her book I will venture to take 
a few instances. 

She describes churches where healing- 5s regularly 
carried on, at Mytilene, at Crete, in the Cyclades, 
at Cyprus, and Corfu, and in the mainland at many 
chapels in Argolis, in a monastery of Arcadia, 
where " hundreds of sick people make the pilgrim- 

1 M. Hamilton, Incubation, 1906, p. 183 ff. 


age each year, but out of the crowd only seven or 
eight receive healing," also in Achaia, Phocis, and 
other parts, as well as several places in Asia Minor. 
To all these churches the sick come in great 
numbers, and cures are confidently reported. For 
instance, in the monastery of the Hagioi Tessera- 
kontes near Therapne in Laconia 

festival on March 22nd is a great event in the 
district, and pilgrims come from long distances to attend 
it.- Incubation is practised in the church, and miracles 
of healing are performed on blind people, cripples, and 
paralytics especially." 1 

Or, again, at the church of St. George in the 
village of Arachova, 4,000 feet high in the valley 
of Delphi, is a new picture of the saint 

" It is the votive offering of a Russian, who came a 
paralytic to Arachova in July, 1905. He spent several 
weeks praying and sleeping in the church, and departed 
completely cured. The festival of St. George is held on 
April 23rd [as it is all over the world]. They have 
three days of dancing and feasting, and at night all sup- 
pliants bring their rugs and sleep round the shrines in 
the church. Every year many of the sick are found to 
be cured when morning comes." 2 

Some of the other places mentioned are real 
health resorts, as the church of the Panagia latrissa, 
the "Virgin Physician/ 7 on Mount Taygetos, where 
consumptives come, and very wisely spend the sum- 
mer in open-air treatment, combined with regular 
prayer in the little chapel and Incubation in the cells 
that surround its court. In many other places, it is 
Interesting to notice, rnad people are frequently 

1 M. Hamilton, Incubation, p. 216. 
2 lbid. f p. 214. 


brought to be cured, as at St. Naum, in Macedonia, 
which is specially famed for the cure of lunatics: 
they are kept in strict confinement with rigorous 
fasting for forty days, portions of the Gospel being 
read to them each day as they sit upon the tomb of 
the saint ; and the monks assert that the treatment 
never fails. 

Certainly a party of medical men might spend 
an interesting and delightful holiday investigating 
the cures in the beautiful mountains and islands 
of Greece; and one may hope that in time more 
definite information may be forthcoming. The 
amazing quantity of votive offerings in the churches 
shows that great multitudes of sick people have 
found themselves cured, and they cannot have been 
altogether incompetent judges of their own con- 

One account by an eye-witness will be acceptable 
here. 1 Miss Hamilton herself visited in 1906 the 
great pilgrimage centre of Tenos, the "gleaming 
white town " that looks across a narrow strip of 
the blue ^Egean Sea, where every year an average 
of 45,000 pilgrims come to visit the Church of the 
Evangelestria, our Lady of the Annunciation 

"On the morning before Annunciation Day this year, 
the pilgrims could be seen making their way to the 
church. Among them were cripples, armless, and leg- 
less, half-rolling up the street ; blind people groping their 
way along; men and women with deformities of every 
kind; one or two showing the pallor of death on their faces 
were being carried up on litters. These evidently were 
coming to Tenos as a last resource, when doctors were 
of no avail. Other pilgrims were ascending after their 
own fashion, according to vows they had made. One 

1 M. Hamilton, Incubation, pp. 195-9. 


woman toiled laboriously along on her knees, kissing 
the stones of the way, and clasping a silver Madonna and 
Child. Last year her daughter had been seized with 
epilepsy, and she vowed to carry in this way this offering 
to the Madonna of Tenos if she would cure her daughter. 
The girl recovered and the other now with thankful heart 
was fulfilling her part of the bargain. 

"The eve of Annunciation Day is the time when the 
Panagia is believed to descend among the sick and work 
miraculous cures upon them. Then all the patients are 
gathered together in the crypt or in the upper church. 
Trie Chapel of the Well is the popular place for incuba- 
tion. There is more chance of miraculous cure there 
than in the church. The little crypt can accommodate 
only a comparatively small number, but they are packed 
together as tightly as possible. From the entrance up to 
the altar, they lie in two lines of three or four deep with 
a passage down the middle large enough for only one 
person. Down this narrow way two streams of people 
press the whole evening. They worship at the shrines 
along the wall, purchase holy earth from the spot where 
the picture was discovered, drink at the sacred well, and 
are blessed by the priest at the altar. The cripples and 
the sick desiring .healing have been engaged all day in 
such acts of worship ; they have received bread and water 
from the priests in the upper church, paid homage to the 
all-powerful picture, offered their candles to the Madonna, 
and all the time sought to endue themselves with her 
presence. Now at night, still fixing their thoughts on 
her, and permeated by this spirit of worship, they settle 
down to sleep in order that she may appear to them in a 
dream, . . . 

" Disappointment, of course, awaits the vast majority, 
but on the evening of the vigil all are filled with hope* 
They know the precedents of former years, how such 
things have happened to some fortunate people among 
the pilgrims every year. Usually eight or nine * miracles 

* The figures here given are of little value, because it is not 
stated in what proportion the eight or nine cures stand to 
the total number of sick persons at each occasion; but they 
seem to be very low, a fact which is perhaps partly accounted 
for by the number of hopeless cases. 


take place, and lists of them are published for distribu- 
tion, but this year the officials of the church decided 
to stop printing the list, because it has been said that it 
was used as an advertisement, and reflected unfavorably 
upon the disinterestedness of the church. 

" The cnurch records contain accounts of the miracles 
which now amount to many hundreds. They are prac- 
tically all of the type I have described cure during a 
vision while incubation was being practised. For exam- 
ple, the case of a man from Moldavia is on record. He 
had become paralysed during a night-watch, and the doc- 
tors could effect no relief. He was taken to the Chapel 
of the Well, and when asleep |ie thought he heard a voice 
telling him to rise. He awoke, thought it was a dream, 
and fell asleep again. A second time he heard a voice, 
and saw a white-robed woman of great beauty entering 
the church. In his fear he rose and walked about. His 
recovery was so complete that he could walk in the pro- 
cession round the town the following day. 

"Tenos has always been especially famed for the cure 
of blindness. The records show a great preponderance 
of miracles on blind men, and at the present-clay festivals 
one sees how many sightless people are led up for in- 
cubation. Also, the number of votive eyes exceeds that 
of other parts of the body. This year one of the miracles 
that took place was a cure of blindness. 

" On the Friday morning I saw a blind man, a Greek, 
who was totally unable to see. He spent the clay in acts 
of devotion to the Panagia [the Blessed Virgin], and all 
night he lay in the Chapel of the Well along with the 
other pilgrims. As he slept, he dreamt that the Panagia 
came to him, and blessed him, touching his eyes with 
her hand. Then he awoke, and found that his eyesight 
had been restored, and he could see as other men." 

No doubt there is much superstition mingled 
with la foi qui gueerit both in the Greek and the 
Roman Churches; but so after all is there much 
superstition in the religion of Protestant England. 
We have not yet clarified Christianity in any cottn- 


try ; and who are we that we should claim to be the 
judges? It may be that our children will find it 
perfectly credible that the Panagia should lay a 
healing influence upon a Greek peasant, while it is 
certain that they will not believe that the world 
was made in a week, or that the Old Testament is 
infallible, or in those theories of Salvation which 
are still the popular faith of Great Britain. We 
have not got our balance yet. Nor is it any con- 
demnation to say that these ancient ways of faith- 
healing are pagan survivals; for so, also, it would 
seem, is Sabbath observance, which the scholars are 
now tracing to Babylon, and so also undoubtedly is 
the deep-rooted belief in atonement through blood of 
which our popular hymn-books are so full ; a thing 
is not wrong merely because it is older than Chris- 
tianity rather is its tenacity to be ascribed to the 
fact that it bears some real relation to the facts of 
the spiritual world. Pagan beliefs have often been 
moralised and purified by the Church, and they may 
well need a further process of correction to-day; 
but customs and beliefs which have continued to 
flourish for nineteen centuries in Christian soil are 
not likely to disappear. 

More especially is this the case when they have 
tangible results. Now, we can no longer dismiss 
the witness of the votive offerings all over Europe 
by theories of delusion or of the machinations of 
supernaturally clever priests. As a matter of fact 
priests have not that diabolical ingenuity with which 
the old- fashioned anti-clericals still credit them; we 
may more reasonably accuse the clergy of a certain 
stupidity, slowness, and lack of imagination as 


has been well shown in the recent religious struggles 
of France. And the people plain, matter-of-fact 
peasants and bourgeois for the most part cred- 
ulous though they are in many places, do not 
respond to empty delusions : they are unphilosophi- 
cal about theories, but they have a keen prosaic eye 
for facts; and when they flock in hundreds or 
thousands at much cost and inconvenience to some 
famous centre of healing, they do so because their 
friends before them have got good by so doing. A 
shrine where nothing ever happened would soon be a 
deserted shrine: and the very fact of a healing 
centre being frequented, of itself affords a strong 
presumption that a certain amount of success attends 
its use. In one place, Lourdes, medical investiga- 
tion has been carried on for fifty years, and the 
result has been to prove the genuineness of the 
cures. This alone should make men chary to 
express incredulity about other places, since it af- 
fords a strong presumption that if other places were 
submitted to the same tests, results not dissimilar 
would be forthcoming. But Lourdes will need a 
chapter in itself. 



THE great value of Lourdes is that here for fifty/ 
years the cures have been tested and recorded by- 
medical men. We are thus left in no manner of" 
doubt that religious cures are a verified fact of 
experience ; with a reminiscence of Matthew Arnold 
we might say that " Miracles " do happen ; though* 
as has been already pointed out, 1 a genuine miracle 
is really a " mighty work " or a " sign/' following- 
its own law and merely over-riding the lower law by 
the higher. We are also able to form a rough 
standard by which we may measure the reality of 
the cures performed in the many other centres of 
the Church and in the various faith-healing sects; 
and we are able to form some opinion as to vhether 
spiritual healing is only possible in functional nerve 

Let us for simplicity's sake at onee state the 
conclusions which the facts establish. 

(1) Cures do take place, and the utility of 
Lourdes from the medical point of view is accepted 
by non-Christian as well as by Christian doctors in? 
France. 2 

(2) Lourdes has been a centre o healing since, 

1 See pp. 117-20 and 182-3. 

2 See p. 93, 



the visions of Bernadette Soubirous, in February, 
March, and April, 1858, the average number of 
pilgrims being about 148,000. * Since 1882 the 
cures have been reported by a medical committee 
open to all doctors, which is described on p. 323. 

(3) The registered cures vary from 100 to 220 
per annum, but it is estimated that only about half 
the cures are registered. 2 At best, the percentage 
of cures is very low. 

(4) The list of cases reported to be cured is given 
in the Appendix. 3 It shows that though nothing 
happens against nature a maimed man, for 
instance, does not grow a new limb yet a wide 
variety of diseases are reported as cured ; and these 
are not at all confined to the functional neuroses."* 
On the contrary, nervous diseases are in a minority : 
only 48 cures are reported of neurasthenia, for 
instance, and 49 of neuralgia, while 107 are set 
down under rheumatism, and 124 under diseases of 
the hip-joint; and high as paralysis 5 is with 217, it 
is out-distanced by pulmonary tuberculosis, which is 
the highest of all with 262 cures. 

As for the evidential value of these cures, there 
is something to be said on both sides. It is probably 

^This was the number in 1903. In 1902 it was 142,000, in 
1901 it rose to 191,000. Dr. G. Bertrin, Lourdcs: Apparitions 
et Guerisons, igo$, Appendix p. 410. 

2 Bertrin, Ibid. The reasons being that some patients <lo 
not submit to a public examination before leaving Lourdes, 
while with others the cure Is accomplished after they have 

s See pp. 410-13. 

4 See Chapter XL 

6 A case of paralysis may be due to hysteria; but this form 
is rare, and the presumption is that even among the patients 
sent to Lourdes most paralytic cases would be organic. 


higher than that of ordinary medical practice; but, 
on the other hand, considering the great import- 
ance of the subject, one could wish that very excep- 
tional precautions were taken, for we need evidence 
as to which there shall be the very smallest margin 
of error possible in medical diagnosis. At the same 
time we need, be grateful to the authorities of 
Lourdes that they have already done so much in the 
way of investigation a good deal more than the 
faith-healing centres in America and other coun- 
tries. Here is Dr. Bertrin's description of the 
methods of investigation 

" Bureau de Constatations Medicales. 

" In 1882 a medical committee was formed, charged 
with the duty of verifying all medical certificates brought 
by the sick to Lourdes: When a cure takes place, it is 
immediately notified to this committee, which takes charge 
of the case. All examinations are made publicly, a cer- 
tain number of doctors are official members of the com- 
mittee, but it is open to all competent men, friends or 
enemies. In particular, all doctors are admitted, what- 
ever their nationality and however opposed to the super- 
natural. In fact, they are never asked any questions 
as to their opinions. Probably no clinic in France is as 
accessible and frequented. In fourteen years 2,712 doc- 
tors have visited Lourdes, from 1890-1904. Of these 461 
were foreigners and amongst them were : 

3 members of the Academy of Medicine, Paris. 

i member of the Academy of Medicine, Brussels. 

i doctor to the King of Sweden. 
26 professors of the French faculty. 
14 professors of foreign faculties. 

8 professors of Schools of Medicine. 
48 doctors or surgeons in hospitals. 
74 house-surgeons of hospitals. 

All these names have been registered. For the last ten 
years Lourdes has been visited on an average by 200 or 


250 doctors a year. On some days there have been siaty 
of them in the committee room, and they are perfectly at 
liberty to see and examine the patients who come to make 
known either their malady or its cure, indeed, often the 
president asks if any of the doctors would like to take 
a special case into a private room or examine it in a hos- 

" Dr. Head, an English Protestant doctor, spent many 
hours in the committee rooms during some of the great 
pilgrimages. He came provided with various special ap- 
paratus for examining eyes, ears, etc., and also with a 
good camera. He took notes assiduously during the de- 
bates and was allowed full liberty to question the sick. 
On his departure he wrote to Dr. Boissane, and after 
expressing his gratitude for his cordial and courteous re- 
ception by the authorities at Lourdes, he says, I shall 
not fail to make known the hospitable welcome I have 
received and the politeness shown to me, though a for- 

" l As regards the medical examination of the cures, I 
am happy to express my complete satisfaction with the 
manner in which medical certificates are dealt with. 
Nothing can exceed the conscientious care with which the 
value of each certificate is discussed/ 

"Most of the sick bring medical details of their dis- 
eases. These documents are very important. Each pil- 
grim in the great national pilgrimage has his number and 
Sis papers, which are put into the hands of the commit- 
tee. When a cure is notified and the sick person remains 
some days afterwards at Lourdes, he has to appear every 
morning and evening before the committee in order to 
prove that the cure is permanent" 1 

All this has, of course, nothing whatever to clo 
with the special religious beliefs associated with 
Lourdes, any more than the cures wrought by 
Christian Scientists prove the accuracy of Mrs, 
Eddy's religious opinions. The story of the appear- 

* Translated from Dr, Georges Bertnn, Lourdes, pp. in- 
115, and Appendix, No. 7. 


ance of the Blessed Virgin to Bernadette with the 
ungrammatical remark, " Je suis I'hnmaculee Con- 
ception" is that of a subjective experience with no 
objective value : " Judged by our habitual canons 
of evidence/' says F. W. H. Myers, " which, as 
the reader knows, do, in fact, admit the veridical 
character of many apparitions there is no reason 
to suppose that the figure which appeared to Berna- 
dette was more than a purely subjective hallucina- 
tion; still less reason to assume that that 
apparition was in any way connected with the sub- 
sequent cures.' 3 * In other words, the apparition to 
Bernadette is a " bad case," and the trained judg- 
ment of Myers (which led him to accept the object- 
ive reality of other apparitions) could find no 
satisfactory evidence in this. 

Nor was Myers favourably impressed with the 
general atmosphere of Lourdes 

" To the student of suggestion, indeed, to the psycholo- 
gist, the story of Lourdes is a mine of attractive ma- 
terial. Yet from a point of view perhaps profounder 
still, I cannot but sympathise with those wiser Catholics 
who bitterly regret the whole series of incidents ; who 
stand aloof from that organised traffic in human igno- 
rance; from the vested interests sanctimoniously alert 
on every side ; from the money-changers in the temple ; 
nay, even from that cowardly craving for earth-life 
prolonged at any cost which dries the leprous and the 
cancerous to implore a deferment of their entry into the 
promised heaven." 2 

Mr. Myers, with his brother, Dr. A. T. Myers, 
investigated Lourdes, and their conclusions were 

1 Human Personality, 1904, I, p, 214. 
*Ibid. f p. 214. 


published in the Proceedings of the Society for 
Psychical Research, in 1893. I will quote them some- 
what at length; for, indeed, other critics, such as, 
for instance, Dr. Dubois, 1 seem to be shallow and 
somewhat obtuse in comparison with these brilliant 
and yet reserved investigators. The two brothers 
arrived at these conclusions 

" (i) No one of the special forms of psycho-thera- 
peutics which we were asked to examine has yet pro- 
duced evidence definite enough to satisfy reasonable men 
of any miraculous agency, however surprising the cure 
may sound. 

" (2) Many forms of psycho-therapeutics produce, by 
obscure but natural agencies, for which at present we 
have no better terms than suggestion and self-suggestion, 
effects to which no definite limitation can as yet be as- 

"(3) Trms far Lourdes offers the best list of cures; 
but this superiority is not more than can be explained 
by the greater number of patients treated there than else- 
where, and their greater confidence in the treatment. 
There is no real evidence, either that the apparition of 
the Virgin was itself more than a subjective hallucina- 
tion, or that it has any more than a merely subjective con- 
nection with the cures." 2 

But a scientific observer may explain many 
"miracles" by self-suggestion without thereby 
denying the reality of faith-cures or their spiritual 
nature. 3 To Frederick Myers, indeed, even hypno- 
tism was only explicable by the theory of a world of 
spiritual life, 4 Thus, though it is certainly not 

1 Paul Dubois, Professor of Neuropathology, Borne, Les 
Psychoncuroscs, 1904, c. 17. 

2 Society for Psychical Research, Proceedings f Vol. TX* 


3 Sec pp. 179-81. 

4 Human Personality, I, p. 215. 


true that a bottle of water can possess healing vir- 
tue because " a girl saw a hallucinatory figure/' 

" it is true that on some influx from the unseen world 
an influence dimly adumbrated in that Virgin figure 
and that sanctified spring depends the life and energy 
of this world of every day." 1 

And of the special religious associations of 
Lourdes Dr. A. T. Myers and his brother say and 
their words will be equally true of the shrines which 
abound in the Eastern Church : 

" It is not really with Roman Catholic doctrines alone 
that we have to do at Lourdes. That great Church 
under whose wing these pilgrims are sheltered still rep- 
resents the hopes, the fears, the creeds of a thousand 
generations of rude and ancient men. Lying for cen- 
turies beneath her deeps, those primitive symbols have 
'. . . Suffered a sea change, 
Into something rich and strange,' 

but each element of the mystery at Lourdes dark 
grotto and sacred spring neuvaine and dream and appari- 
tion carries us back to primitive memories and a simple 
and pagan past. . . . All these things the newer 
Rome has received and transfigured ; and with them much 
emotion which the world cannot lightly lose; the suc- 
couring comradeship of deified natures, the sense of the 
nearness, the benignity of heroic and enfranchised 
souls." 2 

The religious causes at Lourdes are indeed 
both impressive and inadequate. They owe their 
strength to certain ancient and permanent elements 
of faith and fellowship which are sufficient to estab- 
lish relations with the spiritual world, being con- 
centrated and intensified by the associations of the 

1 Human Personality. 

2 Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. Vol. 
IX, p. 208. 


place. That it all should be based upon a worth- 
less hallucination and contaminated by much nar- 
rowness and superstition is regrettable ; but it only 
increases our wonder that, in spite of defects which 
<do great harm to the Church in France, there should 
be as many cures as there are. 1 If so many sick 
persons (whose diseases have generally baffled the 
doctors) should be cured at Lourdes, what might 
'not the result be in some holy place of future days, 
'where the religious motive should be above criticism 
and the methods beyond praise ; where the intimate 
.sacramentalism of Christianity should be purified 
from all puerile accretions, while nothing was lost 
of the ancient and permanent forces which have 
brought such precious succour to the human race : 
where, in fact, religion should include all good and 
thoughtful Christian men in a sane, acceptable 
philosophy, binding them together with God in 
that Communion of Saints which is the high fellow- 
ship of unfettered spirits. 

number of cures, in proportion to the huge army 
'of pilgrims, is very low. If we may put the cures and im- 
provements' at i per cent (p. 322), or even at the 5 per cent 
which is sometimes asserted to be the real proportion of 
cures to patients, the number is not to be compared with the 
cures of Bernheim at Nancy (p. 402-6) , or with the 75 per 
cent, about, of the "Mental Science" home quoted on pp. 

What the proportion really is I have been unable to as- 
certain, even after personal enquiry at Lourdes, If we more 
than double the highest recorded number of cures, and esti- 
mate them at 500 (counting improvements as cures) ; and if 
we assume that only a small proportion^ one in five of 
the pilgrims are patients, we still only get just over I per cent 
of cures. Now no doctor or "healer " in America or England 
could go on for a month if nearly 99 per cent, of his cases 
were failures. If the proportion at Lourdes is really better 
than this, then let the authorities record not only the cures 
'but the failures also. 



Therapeutic Importance of Religion; Miracles, noi 

Proofs but Signs, ( i) That Seeking Health 

is a Religious Duty; (2) That Pain is not 

God's Will; (3) Of the Fundamental 

Nature of the Spirit; Doctors, 

Parsons, and Nurses. 

I HAVE written the foregoing pages, not as a mere 
prelude to this or that practice or opinion, but 
rather to encourage such a temper of mind as shall 
preserve body, soul, and spirit " entire," in their 
fullest co-operation and sanity. For the ultimate 
value of all " miracles " and all ** powers " of heal- 
ing lies in their witness to higher laws, that are 
but little suspected in modern times and but little 

Therapeutic Importance of Religion 

The main contention of this book has been that the 
forces of religion its faith, and hope, and love, 
its prayer and peace, its rites and sacraments 
have a powerful influence for good upon the spirit 
of man, and through the spirit upon the body; that 
therefore these religious influences have, or can 


have, a valuable effect in the maintenance of that 
inward balance and vitality which we call health; 
and, furthermore, that these influences when 
brought to bear upon a sick man must, if he duly 
receive them, strengthen his spirit, and may 
through that inward invigoration bring strange and 
wonderful recovery of the body. The extent of 
this power must be left for the future to decide; 
that there is always some physical effect resulting 
on mental action is an accepted fact, nor will it be 
denied by any that mental conditions have a definite 
effect upon physical health. Those conditions will 
have a greater or less effect in proportion as men 
realise them and cultivate them; the remarkable 
strength of their effect has been noticed in all ages; 
it certainly is a far from negligible phenomenon 
to-day; it shows every sign of increasing in the 
near future. 

Doctors, indeed use those mental conditions 
more, as they use drugs less ; and even in England 
where there is as yet no chair of psycho-therapeutics 
(which is only a clumsy scientific name for mind- 
cure), change of habit and change of scene are 
increasingly recommended for those who can afford 
them. But we do not obtain the highest results 
from the mind till we have also the aid of religion ; 
for this is the greatest transforming- power a 
power that can make the thief honest, the lustful 
temperate, or the coward brave, a power that can 
replace egoism by love, sadness by joy, and despair 
by peace. 

This power is called by the theologians Grace; 
it- is the highest of all the forms of energy that 


come from God. Its existence is not denied even 
by the agnostic who has no knowledge of its Cause, 
and its effects are nowadays investigated as impor- 
tant phenomena by psychologists. 

Let it be clearly understood. The effect of the 
soul upon the body through the power of religion 
is not some new and magic way of proving the 
truth of Christianity. All power is of God 
whether it be electricity, or neurokym, or grace; 
and to him who does not believe in God all power 
must be left unexplained. On the other hand, the 
high power of religion can quite fairly be called 
mental: no one would be less ready to deny this 
than the Christian for whom, as I have said, the 
very operations of the Spirit of God, his gifts and 
his fruits, are mental phenomena which are habit- 
ually obtained in a lower form without the special 
aid of religion. There is no ultimate barrier, then, 
between what is sacred and what is secular, since 
all things come of God and of his own do we give 
him; the difference is one of degree and not of 

Miracles: Not Proofs but Signs 

The evangelical works of healing, then, with all 
that have followed since, are not proofs of Chris- 
tianity, but are signs " signs following " upon 
conversion. They are evidences of a high degree 
of spiritual power, but this power is found also 
among- those who are not Christians just as a 
wonderful degree of Christian charity is often 
found among those who are not Christians. It 
was never claimed for the evangelical cures that 


they were anything more than this. 1 In Christ 
that power was at its highest, just as in him, love 
was at its highest; but charity exists everywhere 
in some degree, and healing power exists every- 
where also : both are evidences of the grace of God 
to those for whom God is the great ultimate Reality 
in whom all things subsist Christ did not invent 
new virtues: he was the perfect manifestation o 
things which are eternal, and therefore could never 
be new. 

(i) That Seeking Health is a Religious Duty 

Thus, the teaching of the New Testament, and o 
all succeeding generations of Christian saints, 
warns us not to exaggerate the importance of spirit- 
ual cures; for indeed to the Evangelists and to all 
Christians the conversion of the soul is a far more 
remarkable and more precious sign than any con- 
version of the body, and .the conquest of sin far 
more difficult and important than the conquest of 
disease. But at the same time the New Testament 
miracles are signs to remind us, first, that health 
isi an important thing; and that the 'spread of 
health by all medical, hygienic, and mental ways 
is like other secular and social service - one 
of the prime duties of religion. They teach us 
that the followers of Christ must succour the sick 
and the suffering by all effective means by nurs- 
ing and doctoring, by prayer and grace because 
the Master whom they follow himself went about 
doing good to the sick, and symbolised that care 

* See pp. 169-70, 


not only in the word of healing, but also in the 
simple medicines and the careful nursing of the 
Good Samaritan. This general lesson has been 
not so ill learnt amongst us : one of the first things 
borrowed from Christianity by the Japanese was 
the ambulance Red Cross. 

(2) That Pain is not God' swill 

The evangelical signs tell us also that sickness is 
not the will of God; because God is the author of 
health, and the spreading of his power is the 
quenching of sickness. I know that there are many 
devout souls who, because they have so Christianly 
schooled themselves in the bearing of pain, cannot 
welcome the thought that pain has to be subdued. 
To them, surely, the Christian miracles should 
come as signs that for all the value of pain, yet the 
duty of a Christian is to relieve it. Pain has, in- 
deed, great disciplinary use in the moral world; it 
has also great prophylactic value in the natural 
world, and the upward development of animals 
has been largely due to it; yet it is the plain duty 
of Christian charity to reduce pain, and it is by 
our mercifulness that we can measure the moral 
distance which separates the Christian nations of 
to-day from the pagans of the arena. 

Pain! let us be honest about it, and avoid the 
traditional and unreal use of language which the 
ascetics and self-torturers of old had perhaps some 
right to employ. We do not seek it in these com- 
fortable days; and we, who are glad enough to 
use anaesthetics, have some need to beware of hypoc- 


risy in extolling pain for other people. Our duty 
is to reduce it everywhere, but no praiser of pain 
need have any fear that it will disappear; its mes- 
sage is more intensely felt when it is less abundant, 
its discipline is greater when it is merited and 
though it may pass increasingly from the body, it 
will not disappear from the soul till we leave it for 
ever behind by entering into the vision of God. 

(3) Of the Fundamental Nature of the Spirit 


Lastly, the Christian " miracles " are signs to 
everyone of spiritual reality : they are significant of 
a power that can transcend material things. And 
the modern world, sick with doubting hopes, needs 
intensely to be assured that religion is not a mere 
probability, nor faith a passive acceptance of con- 
jectures; that prayer is a power producing results, 
that grace is real. This need is not unworthy; at 
our point of time it is inevitable. The supreme 
value of faith-cures to the modern world, is that 
they are signs of something beyond the mere heal- 
ing of the body they illustrate the supremacy 
and the fundamental nature of the spirit; and this 
is what our generation needs to learn. 

Thus the " mighty works " of the New Testa- 
ment are signs for our instruction. The mere 
healing of disease, noble and charitable as it is, 
may be accomplished by the humbler means of 
material succour, and generally is thus accom- 
plished: it would be a small thing if grace could 
do no more for man than surgery ; and as a matter 
of fact it has in the past done much less for 


remarkable as have been the miraculous cures of 
Christian history, they are not to be compared in 
extent with the sickness cured and the sickness 
prevented by scientists, and doctors, and nurses. 
But when a man is healed by faith of a disease 
which natural means have failed to move, we are 
in the presence of a force more important for 
humanity than the most wonderful skill of the 
physician. It is like the stirring of the little golden 
wings of the electroscope. We have a sign of the 
kingdom of God. We are shown that, after all, 
disease is but the outward manifestation of some 
inward weakness and failure, so that it is possible 
for the physical results of that weakness to be 
removed by an inward and spiritual restoration, 

Doctors, Parsons, and Nurses 

I think that this has one very practical lesson for 
doctors. They are dealing at all points with mental 
influences, and therefore with influences that can 
be transmuted or strengthened by grace. It fol- 
lows, does it not? that the doctor should be a 
man of prayer, that part of his work should be 
done before the altar, that both he and his patients 
should feel him to be about a sacred business. And 
shall we not find practical evidence for the truth 
of this in the greater success of the doctors who 
work thus, understanding the spiritual nature of 
man? Such men at least need have nothing to 
fear from the eccentricities of faith-healing; for 
they are themselves doing the same work better 
their technical skill is winged with the power of 


faith, their care of the sick is crowned with the 
ministration of religion. 

But what are we to say about these ministrations 
of religion ? We cannot pretend that they have in 
modern times been what they ought to be. The 
experience of most parsons is that they see but 
little of their people, except among the poor, when 
they are very ill ; for the patient is ordered " com- 
plete rest," and visitors are not allowed. And the 
sick have made an increasing use of nursing-homes, 
where there is no chaplain and where such disturbing 
agencies as the Holy Communion are not allowed. 
I do not think we have any cause for complaint: 
this notion of religion as a distressing influence 
inimical to health, or at best as an unnecessary in- 
terruption of natural machinery, would not have 
become so general but through our own fault. 
Many priests in the past perhaps the ministry 
as a whole must have got themselves regarded as 
the heralds of divine wrath, the precursors of dis- 
solution, the dangerous purveyors of a death-sug- 
gestion, or this popular tradition of the ministry 
would not have grown up. And in gentler and more 
recent years many parsons perhaps most in 
the almost universal ignorance of their health- 
bringing mission must have been content with 
somewhat conventional devotions and somewhat 
disconsolate advice. Certainly if the doctors have 
to lament the absence of psychological training in; 
their schools, the clergy have to acknowledge the 
absence in the past of almost all training whatever, 
and the absence still to-day of training in the visita- 
tion of the sick. Men of holiness, and even men 


of tact, have an intuition in these as in other mat- 
ters I remember hearing of a house-surgeon who 
said that the chaplain was the best ally, since all 
his patients were better after the priest had been 
round the ward l but it may well be true of others 
that their visitations left the wrong effect 

We need that this should cease, we need that the 
two professions should be brought more into co- 
operation; since now we know that the doctors are 
concerned with the soul as well as with the body, 
and that the clergy are concerned in many ways 
with the body as well as with the soul. The new 
faith which we have in the physical effects of 
spiritual work has made those of us who are par- 
sons very anxious to learn and to be of service, not 
setting ourselves up as authorities in medical 
affairs, but bringing, so far as in us lies, God's gift 
of healing to the succour of his people. 

For this, Unction, when it is asked for, 2 supplies 
the most authoritative means, and is free from the 
dangers that may accompany some other ways, 
since the personal element is minimised, and the 
minister acts merely as the agent of God's Church, 
the transmitter of a power that is not his own. But 
more personal action is legitimate, such as the Lay- 
ing-on of Hands, 3 not only in the case of gifted 

1 Cf. Huxley's saying : " My work in the London hospitals 
taught me that the preacher often does as much good as the 

2 " If anointing be earnestly desired by the sick person." 
Lambeth Conference, 1908 (S.P.C.K.). Resolution 36. 

$ "The Committee is of opinion, that the prayers for 'the 
restoration of health which it recommends, may be fitly ac- 
companied by the apostolic act of the Laying-on of Hands." 
Lambeth Conference, 1908, Report of Committee on Minis- 
tries of Healing. 


and of saintly persons, but as a means of grace that 
may be employed by any who use it earnestly and 
with concentrated prayer; nor can there be any 
reason why it should be confined to the clergy. 
And if, as St. Paul leads us to expect, there are 
some with special " gifts of healing/' it must clearly 
be right for them to use their powers in this 

The parson can always do much by such earnest, 
quiet prayer with the sick person a prayer that is 
full of faith and confidence, and is never without 
some time of silence. He will be full of confident 
hope because he knows that prayer must bring 
strength to the soul, and through the soul in some 
measure often in a great measure to the body. 
He will teach the patient, so far as the conditions 
permit, to realise the power of prayer and to rest 
patiently in the Lord. He will in some cases be 
able to release the patient from doubts and fears, 
and the burden of his sin, by that Ministry of Rec- 
onciliation which mercifully was retained when so 
much else was lost in the present service for the 
Visitation of the Sick. From that service, also, 
he will use the beautiful Benediction which con- 
cludes it; and surely he will never leave a sick bed 
without blessing the patient as one who knows that 
in benediction he is transmitting grace. All this 
is, of course, often done, together ,with such quiet 
talk and the reading of beautiful, familiar psalms 
and other passages. But it should in every case of 
sickness be desired and given; and much depends 
upon the spirit in which it is given by the priest, 
supported by the friends and by the doctor, and 


received by the patient. It is faith that makes men 

The centre of all such religious ministrations to 
the sick will always lie in the chief service of Chris- 
tendom. I have already spoken of the witness 
borne continuously to the effect of the Holy Com- 
munion upon the body as well as the soul ; i and I 
need hardly again point out how mighty will be the 
effects of that inward succour when sick folk learn 
generally to appreciate it, and are thus able to have 
the faith which will enable them to receive the in- 
ward grace for the benefit of their entire person- 
ality. Here only it may be well to add that for 
every therapeutic reason it is best for the Com- 
munion to be brought to the sick room straight 
from the service in church, 2 and thus to be adminis- 
tered in the quietest and simplest way, and in the 
way too that most joins the patient with the prayers 
of the congregation in the church, their intercession 
being definitely asked for the person to be com- 
municated. That this method should ever have 
been the subject of party dispute is one of those 
regrettable incidents in modern Church life which 
for our credit should pass into oblivion. 

In so far as this is the parson's way in pastoral 
visitation the doctor will find peace wherever the 
Church's servants go, and will be grateful for it. 

* See Chapter XXX, p. 307. . , 

2 The shortness and concentration of this primitive method 
is of course a chief advantage. It is generally found that 
the following is the longest form of service : Collect of 
Day, Confession and Absolution, Prayer of Access, Admin- 
istration of Communion, Lord's Prayer, Prayer of Thanks- 
giving, Collect for the Sick Person, Blessing. In many cases 
this would have to be further shortened. 


And those who are constantly in the sick room, 
the nurses and the friends, can they too not bless 
the patient and be themselves a blessing to him? 
There may be prayer in all their ministrations ; the 
atmosphere of the Spirit may dwell in the room, 
and grace may accompany every act of service. It 
would seem almost presumptuous to speak of the 
nurses, who have transformed Mrs. Gamp in a 
generation whose skilled devotion is one of the 
greatest assets of modern civilisation, and who en- 
dure so bravely both the necessary hardships of 
their lives and that cruel pressure of overwork 
which is gratuitously imposed upon them. Many 
of them have indeed done much already; yet I 
think, as the importance of religion for body and 
soul is more fully understood, we may look for still 
greater help both in what the nurses do themselves 
and in what they teach the families and friends of 
the sick to do. For religion gives to all a share in 
the mental support of the sick ; their physical welfare 
cannot safely be separated off in a compartment of 
its own, from which the ministrations of prayer 
and grace are excluded; and for that very reason 
the responsibility of wisdom, tact, and restraint 
is increasingly laid upon us alL 



Health; The True Meaning of Salvation; Peace 

THOUGH healing is naturally the most prominent 
feature of the new movement which we have dis- 
cussed, it is far less important than health; and 
the crowning* lesson of the evangelical " signs " is 
that God is the giver of health, that the spreading 
of the Gospel is the spreading of health. 

We hardly need repeat the proviso that an ortho- 
dox Christian cannot for this reason belittle 
hygiene, but is bound to study and spread it. As 
I have already said, only a Christian who never 
used the Sacraments, and had made no attempt to 
understand that essential sacramental element of 
evangelical and all historic Christianity, could fall 
into such an error. Temperance and cleanliness 
are religious duties; they are at the same time as 
material as anything can be, and the temperate 
choice of right food (including salt, which is a 
drug), forms with the cleanliness of our bodies and 
homes the most potent of all means for the preser- 
vation of health. Man is a spiritual being, but he 
lives in a material environment; and the health 
both of body and soul are so dependent upon this 
environment that our Lord compared the difficul- 
ties even of the soul, when baffled by its surround- 


ings, with a camel before the eye of a needle. 
Therefore it is a primary Christian duty to bring 
rule and order into this environment. 

And faith-cures show us in like manner that the 
mental power which fashions and regulates these 
material things is meant to be supreme, and that 
health lies in that supremacy. They show us that 
all the agencies of hygiene and the rest are but the 
weapons and tools of the spirit or, we might say, 
its navvies and its servants indispensable indeed 
to humanity, and brought to an admirable degree 
of skill, but not the masters, and never to be thought 
of without the spirit which they serve and assist^ 

Health is what we seek, as the sum of all desir- 
able things health of both spirit and body 
and, as we have said, even bodily health is ulti- 
mately a condition of the soul, dependent on the 
supremacy of the spirit. It is the proper balance 
of unspoilt relationship between overmincl, under- 
mind, and body it is that our " body, soul, and 
spirit " may through " the God of peace/' be " pre- 
served entire." * 

The lesson of Christ's life is that he brought 
this entirety of health because he brought inward 
peace and life. He set these three parts of human 
personality at balance by supplying the deficiency 
in spirit and soul. He brought men, as we say, 
into harmony with God, because he filled them with 
the Spirit of the Lord and giver of life. We might 
apply to him in a greater sense the words which 

IT Thes. 5 28 . See p. 343* The idea of wholeness, 
which is the etymological root of salvation, w is m thus 
passage twice emphasised. , , *yi*<r<w *>(*** 
Kal 6\6K\ypov bpuv rb irvevpa . . . 


Montesquieu used of the social reforms of St. 
Louis, and say, " II dta le malj en faisant sentir le 

The True Meaning of Salvation 

Health, then, both of soul and body, its unity, 
its importance this is the lesson we are learning 
to-day. We may give both kinds of health one 
name, uniting them in the term Salvation. 

In the original language of the New Testament 
" to save " 1 is used of the healing either of the 
body 2 or of the spirit, 3 and in connection with the 
spirit it is sometimes used of present salvation, and 
sometimes of final salvation. 4 In popular theol- 
ogy it has constantly been used in this third sense 
alone, and thus the idea of present salvation of the 
entire man has been very greatly lost. We have 
to turn back to the New Testament for the full 
meaning of the word: there we find further salva- 
tion referred to only as continuing what has been 
begun already the passing into a condition of 
inward health ; Christ came to win a double victory 
over sin and death, he brought new life both to 
spirit and body, and the two kinds of salvation were 
but two sides of our work. 5 

v t to save, connected with <$ (salvtis), "sound," 
"entire," "whole." 

'*e.g. To the Woman with the Issue "Thy faith hath 
saved thcc: go in peace," Mk. 5 34 . 

8 e.g. To the Woman who was a Sinner " Thy faith hath 
saved thec : go in peace," Lk. 7 50 . 

*e.g. "He that endureth to the end shall be saved," Mt. 
10 22 . 

$"But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power 
on earth to forgive sins. . . . Arise, take up thy bed," 
Mk 2 10 . 


The impotent man, we read, was healed at the 
Gate Beautiful by the power of the Christ, because, 
" in none other is there salvation . . . wherein 
we must be saved " ; l and, as St. James says, the 
" prayer of faith shall save him that is sick." Both 
sin and disease are a breach of God's laws, so that 
sin may be called the "disease" of the soul, and 
sickness the "sin" of the body; the salvation of 
either is the restoring of it to that wholeness, that 
spacious breadth and free unhindered action in the 
large empire of God's laws, to which both ancient 
and modern languages bear witness. The Hebrew 
word for " salvation " which lies behind the Greek 
of the Gospels means the enlargement of man's 
spirit from that which constrains and confines; 
" wholeness " is the idea of the Greek word ; health 
and welfare of the Latin ; 2 while in our own lan- 
guage "health" and " holiness " are close akin, 
as we see so clearly in the German, where hcilsam 
means wholesome, heilen to heal, and hcttig holy, 
while the Saviour is called Der Hciland because hcil 
means both health and salvation. 

Salvation alas that this noble thing should 
have been so narrowed amongst Christians as to 
mean still for many the mere plucking of the soul 
from some future torment! That degradation of 

1 Acts 4 12 . cf. The Commendation in the Visitation of the 
Sick, where, significantly, the word "health" is added to 
" salvation/' because the fact that health is salvation had been 

2 Smith's dictionary gives " Salvus, safe, unhurt, well, 
sound," and "Sahis f a sound or whole condition, health, 
welfare, prosperity, preservation, safety," derived either 
from the Greek 6\os t "whole, entire, perfect, complete," or 
from &&o$ } <rs, " sound, healthy, whole, safe," 


the word shows how the thought of inward whole- 
ness had been lost. Salvation means the passing 
of the entire man into the life of God, so that every 
part of his being is brought into harmony with the 
divine laws; and for the saved the Eternal Life is 
not only a future reward, it is something that has 
already begun" He that hath the Son hath life " 
something that is proved to have begun already 
by the helpfulness and charity of those who are 
living therein, for " we know that we have passed 
out of death into life, because we love the brethren." 

The life that comes in salvation is eternal not 
as something that will begin after death and then 
go on for ever but as something that has begun 
here and is above time altogether. The things un- 
seen truth, love, knowledge, even beauty be- 
longs to this high, unmeasured plane, where there is 
no decay, no transitory shifting of things temporal. 
But on the natural plane the eternal powers mould 
and mark the temporal environment, beauty is dimly 
adumbrated in nature and in art, truth in demon- 
strations, love in good works, and inner health in 
physical perfection. 

A concrete example from an autobiographical 
note in Professor James* collection will explain 
exactly what we mean 

" Gradually an inner peace and tranquillity came to 
me in so positive a way that my manner changed greatly. 
My children and friends noticed the change and com- 
mented upon it. AH feelings of irritability disappeared. 
Kvcu the expression of my face changed noticeably. 

" T Ii?ul been bigoted, aggressive, and intolerant in dis- 
cussion both in public and private. I grew broadly tol- 
erant and receptive towards the views of others. I had 


been nervous and irritable, coming home two or three 
times a week with a sick headache induced, as I then 
supposed, by dyspepsia and catarrh. I grew serene and 
gentle, and the physical troubles entirely disappeared. ^ I 
had been in the habit of approaching every business in- 
terview with an .almost morbid dread. I now meet every 
one with confidence and inner calm. 

" I may say that the growth has all been towards the 
elimination of selfishness. I do not mean simply the 
grosser, more sensual forms, but those subtler and gen- 
erally unrecognised kinds, such as express themselves in 
sorrow, grief, regret, envy, etc. It has been in the direc- 
tion of a practical, working realisation of the immanence 
of God and the Divinity of man's true inner self." 1 

Inner health! There are hundreds of thousands 
in America and in England who declare that they 
have found such a state o salvation. And this new- 
movement which is so hopefully stirring- around us, 
though it often speaks the language of heresy, is 
really a return to a forgotten orthodoxy with which 
we are much concerned, because it is a restoration 
of the original Christian idea. We still thank 
God officially that we are in a state of salvation; 
but we have not been living as if we were. Men 
have ascribed to the religious world (and surely tint 
without justification) a certain cheerless pessimism 
and gloomy harshness. Even of amiable persons 
I have heard it said, "He suffers from menial 
depression, because he is such a holy man ! " Cer- 
tainly the general idea was that to be religious was 
to be terrestrially miserable. 

Now the inner health movement is reversing" that 
conception. Its strength lies, not in a few cures 

1 William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience* 
8th imp., 1904, p. 126. 


here and there, but in the fact that it has changed 
men's lives on a large scale, that in America at 
least it has altered the aspect of whole sections of 
society. When people come under the influence 
of this movement in one or other of its forms, their 
friends find them more easy to live with. No won- 
der that such shrewd observers as Dr. James l 
are impressed 

" The moral fruits have been no less remarkable. The 
deliberate adoption of a healthy-minded attitude has 
proved possible to many who never supposed they had it 
in them ; regeneration of character has gone on on an 
extensive scale; and cheerfulness has been restored to 
countless homes." 2 

In such examples from every-day life we see the 
power and great usefulness of the inner-health 
movement: here is true conversion, here is true 
personal salvation, flowing over into fellowship. 


It is not new. But what is really new to this 
generation is the thought that the peace of God is 
something to be got by ordinary people everywhere, 
something indeed which it is foolish and unchris- 
tian not to ffet Religion has been so long esteemed 
a peculiarity of the few. We need not wonder that 
the reaction against this survival of Puritanism is 

1 It must be remembered that Dr. James* book deals only 
with the nuHvuhwHslic side of religion: see the criticism in 
the Preface to Gd and the Individual, by Dr. Strong, Dean 
of Christ Church, Oxford (Longmans.) 

a William James, The Varieties of Religious 
8th imp., 1904, p. 95. 


so strong among the descendants of those Puritans 
who were too extreme to remain in Europe. And 
here I use the word Puritanism because it is best 
understood The history of Montanism reminds 
us that the Puritan spirit is at least as old as the 
second century the spirit that could not accept 
the lesson which our Lord taught in the Parables 
of the Kingdom, and especially in that of the Wheat 
and the Tares. In America, no doubt, where Cal- 
vinism had a far stronger and more recent hold 
than in England, the reaction has its own weakness 

a good deal of surviving individualism which 

shows itself in the formation of odd new sects, a 
failure to appreciate the experience of historic 
Christianity, and that pantheistic haziness which has 
so often characterised the best minds reacting from 
Puritanism. But at least the inner-health move- 
ment is purifying Christianity from the last traces 
of Calvinism, and from those earlier religions of 
fear which had their roots in devil-worship and 
their last fruit in the doctrine. of Reprobation. All 
Christendom has been scarred with terror : religion 
has seemed inaccessible to the ordinary folk for 
whom Christ died. Now it is being borne in upon 
us that the peace of God is for the working-man 
and the philosopher, for the housewife, and even for 
the man of business. 

And the practice of the presence of God fa for 
all. It is not some difficult intellectual exercise to 
be learnt out of books : it is the gathering- tip of the 
spirit into the Silence, where the clews of God may 
condense upon us. Nor is this practice the strain- 
ing of our ears to the contentious voices of pulpit 


eloquence (the reliance upon which has been a mis- 
take of modern religion), but the tuning of our 
hearts to the still small Word from the Eternal. 
Men are learning everywhere the value of such 
teeming quietness, and faith-healing has been but a 
sign of the inward energy and an incentive to the 
recovery of recollectedness : meditation, they find, 
is a refreshment abundantly fruitful; prayer, a 
force that can be tested by its results; religion itself, 
not a beautiful "perhaps/* but the mightiest of all 
realities. So in quietness and peace they find their* 
strength: they are practising it among busy crowds,* 
in railway-carriages, upon electric trams, in shops 
and factories, in offices. 

It is not new. For no other reason than this have 
our churches stood open to the passer-by each a 
little fortress of peace, an outwork of those ancient 
cathedrals, within whose mighty silences, enshrined 
in an ordered beauty of form and colour, steadfast 
generations of men have rested in the spiritual 
presence. A like cultivation of quiet receptivity is 
found in all the higher religions, which differ indeed 
from savage cults in that they do not seek excite- 
ment : but in the Christian religion it is highest, 
simplest, most balanced, humane, and universal* 
And many to-day whose heritage has been alien 
from the traditions of historic Christianity, are 
linking 1 the world tip with long-neglected truths. 

Is it not, indeed, that the modern world is redis- 
covering* Christianity? Weary of theological 
wntnglings and futile struggles for ecclesiastical 
supremacy, weary of partisan exaggerations and 
prejudices weary also of that orthodoxy of nega- 


tions, which esteems a man safe who denies some- 
thing that others have found true, and which has 
chilled religion through fear of being universal 
men are finding their way back to the fulness of 
Christ ; and the wayfaring man, though a fool, can 
rest with the saints and become wise. 

" It is such fun being a Christian." Let that sen- 
tence stand uncorrected, not unserviceable in the 
shock it brings. As the brothers of St. Francis 
would laugh in the midst of their services from 
sheer joy of life, so are we discovering how trium- 
phant and cheerful an exhilaration springs from the 
deep-spreading roots of God's peace. Such an im- 
pregnable happiness is a natural result not a gift, 
but a fruit of the Spirit. In this book we have con- 
sidered those mental gifts which Christendom 
specially ascribes to the Holy Spirit, so that wisdom 
and strength the full balance of faculties are 
the evidence of inspiration; and we have discussed 
the influence of this wisdom upon soul and body. 
Let us now finally remember that the inspired mind 
bears fruit in the emotions, and that the fruits of 
the Spirit are defined for us as love, joy, pence, long- 
suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meek- 
ness, and temperance. We may know oitr Chris- 
tian by his tender cheerfulness. Without love, joy, 
peace, a man may be a learned professor of divinity 
or a distinguished synthetic philosopher, but he is 
not a proper Christian. For in Blake's words 

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love, 
Is God our Father dear; 
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love, 
Is man, his child and care* 


It is right for men to love their lives, and right 
for them to have a good time; and if they go to 
work the true way, seeking first the Kingdom of 
God, and being, therefore, all of one mind, com- 
passionate one of another, loving as brethren, piti- 
ful, courteous, then they will indeed find life to be 
worth living, and they will make it so for others 
also who are battling in difficult ways 

" For he that would love life, 
And see good days, 
Let him refrain his tongue from evil, 
And his lips that they speak no guile ; 
And let him turn away from evil, and do good; 
Let him seek peace and ensue it." 




I HAVE selected these instances as typical, interesting, 
and well authenticated, and as occurring in the lives of 
well-known men and women. For this reason all kinds 
of cures are included, both small and great. The medi- 
cal reader can form his own judgment as to their rela- 
tive importance. The details are interesting and often 
of great value. 

BEDE (673-735) ON ST. JOHN OF BEVERLEY, t 721 

We will give several instances from Bedels account of 
this saint, because they are exceedingly full, candid, and 
well-attested, ranging from the simplest co-operation with 
the surgeon (4) to a cure at the point of death (3), 
though of course in all these old accounts we have not 
the advantage of scientific diagnosis. We give these in- 
stances, also, because they throw light upon an obscure 
period a period, indeed, which is sometimes called the 
" Dark Ages," though it witnessed the spreading of the 
light from Ireland to Russia, and the planting of civiliza- 
tion among the barbarian races which now rule the 
world* There was no more honest and conscientious his- 
torian than Bede, the founder of English history, who, it 
will be noticed, refers carefully to eye-witnesses and 

*ves only a selection of the miracles which he had 
sard of. 



(i) St. John of Beverley 
O.D. 685: He co-operates with the physician) 

"In the beginning of the aforesaid reign, Bishop Eata 
died! and was succeeded in the prelacy of the church of 
Ha<Ailstad by John, a holy man of whom those who fa- 
mnfarfy knew iim are wont to tell many miracles; and 
more particularly, the reverend Berthun, a ^an of un- 
doubted veracity, and once his deacon, now abbot of the 
Monastery called Inderawood, that is, in *e wood of 
the Deiri; some of which miracles we have thought fit to 
ransm it to posterity. There is a certain building m a 
retired situation, and enclosed by a narrow wood and a 
trench, about a mile and a half from _the church of 
Ha-ulstad, and separated from it by *^ " vel ; T y ne ^ ha ::- 
in^ a burying place dedicated to St. Michael the Arch- 
angel whlre the man of God used frequently as occa- 
sion offered, and particularly in Lent, to reside with .a 
few companions. Being come thither once at the begm- 
nine of Lent to stay, he commanded his followers to nnd 
out some poor person labouring under any grievous .in- 
firmity, or want, whom he might keep with him during 
those days, by way of alms, for so he was always used 

" There was in a village not far off, a certain dumb 
youth, known to the Bishop, for he often used to come 
into his presence to receive alms, and had never been able 
to speak one word. Besides, he had so much scurf and 
scabs on his head that no hair ever grew on the ton o* 
it, only some scattered hairs in a circle round about. 1 he 
bishop caused this young man to be brought, and a little 
cottage to be made for him within the enclosure of the 
dwelling, in which he might reside, and receive a daily 
allowance from him. When one week of Lent was over, 
the next Sunday he caused the poor man to come m to 
him and ordered him to put his tongue out of Ins mouth 
and show it to him; then laying hold of his dun, he made 
the sign of the cross on his tongue, directing linn to 
draw it back into his mouth and to speak. Pronounce 
some word,' said he; 'say "yea,"' which, in the language 
of the Angels, is the word of affirming and consenting, 
that is, ''yes.' The youth's tongue was immediately 
loosed, and he said what he was ordered. The bishop, 


then pronouncing the names of the letters, directed him 
to say, * A ' ; he did so, and afterwards ' B/ which he also 
did. When he had named all the letters after the bishop, 
the^ latter proceeded to put syllables and words to him, 
which being also repeated by him, he commanded him to 
utter whole sentences, and he did it. Nor did he cease 
all that day and the next night, as long as he could keep 
awake, as those who were present relate, to talk some- 
thing, and to express his private thoughts and will to 
others which he could never do before; after the man- 
ner of the cripple, who being healed by the Apostles 
Peter and John, stood up leaping, and walked, and went 
with them into the temple, walking and skipping, and 
praising the Lord, rejoicing to have the use of his feet 
which he had so long wanted. The bishop, rejoicing at 
his recovery of speech, ordered the physician to take in 
hand the cure of his scurfed head. He did so, and with 
the help of the bishop's blessing and prayers, a good head 
of hair grew as the flesh was healed. Thus the youth 
obtained a good aspect, ready utterance, and a beautiful 
head of hair, whereas before he had been deformed, poor 
and dumb. Thus rejoicing at his recovery, the bishop 
offered to keep him in his family, but he rather chose to- 
return home." * 

(2) St. John of Bcvcrley 
(686: He uses holy water} 

" The same abbot related another miracle, similar to 
the former, of the aforesaid bishop. * Not very far from 
our monastery, that is, about two miles off, was the 
country house of one Puch, an earl, whose wife had 
languished near forty days under a very acute disease, 
insomuch that for three weeks she could not be carried 
out of the room where she lay. It happened that the man 
of God was at that time invited thither by the earl to 
consecrate a church ; and when that was clone, the _ earl 
invited him to dine at his house. The bishop declined, 
saying, " lie must return to the monastery which was very 
near," The earl, pressing him more earnestly, vowed 
he would also give alms to the poor, if the bishop would 

*Bede, Ecclesiastical History, ed J. A. Giles, 1894- Bk. 

v, c. a. 


break his fast that day in his house. I joined my en- 
treaties to his promising in like manner to give alms for 
the relief of the poor, if he would go and dine at the 
earl's house and give his bless ing. Having ^length 
with much difficulty, prevailed, we went m to dine. The 
bishop had sent to the woman that lay sick some of the 
holy water, which he had blessed for the consecration 
of the church, by one of the brothers that went along 
with me, ordering him to give her some to drink, and 
wash the place where her greatest pain was,_ with some 
of the same. This being done, the woman immediate y 
*>t up in health, and perceiving that she had not only 
been delivered from her tedious distemper but : at the 
same time recovered the strength which she had lost, she 
presented the cup to the bishop and to us, and continued 
serving us with drink as she had begun till dinner was 
over; following the example of Peter's mother-in-law, 
who, having been sick of a fever, arose at the touch of 
our Lord, and having at once received health and strength, 
ministered to them." 2 

(3) St. John of Bcvcrlcy 
(686: He blesses and heals) 

" At another time, also, being called to consecrate Earl 
Addi's Church, when he had performed that duty, he was 
entreated by the Earl to go in to one of his servants 
who lay dangerously ill, and having lost the use of all 
his limbs, seemed to be just at death's door; and indeed 
the coffin had been provided to bury him m. I he earl 
urg-ed his entreaties with tears, earnestly praying that he 
would go in and pray for him, because his life was of 
great consequence to him; and he believed ^ that if the 
bishop would lay his hand upon him and give him his 
blessing, he would soon mend. The bishop went in ana 
saw him in a dying condition, and the coffin by his side, 
whilst all present were in tears. He said a prater, 
blessed him, and on going out, as is the usual expression 
of comforters, said, 'May you soon recover. A Up- 
wards when they were sitting at table, the lad stit to 
his lord, to desire he would let him have a cup of wine, 

2 Beck, Ecclesiastical History, Bk. V, c. Jv. I have omitted 
the curing of the nun Ccenberg in a ML 


because he was thirsty. The earl, rejoicing that he could 
drink, sent him a cup of wine, blessed by the bishop; 
which, as soon as he had drunk, he immediately got UD, 
and snaking off his late infirmity, dressed himself, and 
going in to the bishop, saluted him and the other guest, 
saying * He would also eat and be merry with them. 3 
They ordered him to sit down with them at the entertain- 
ment, rejoicing at his recovery. He sat down, ate and 
drank merrily, and behaved himself like the rest of the 
company; and living many years after, continued in the 
same state of health. The aforesaid abbot says, this 
miracle was not wrought in his presence, but that he had 
it from those who were there." 3 

(4) St. John of Beverley 
(686: Prayer, Blessing, and the Surgeon) 

The following is interesting, both because it is the per- 
sonal narrative of the man who was cured, and also be- 
cause it affords another illustration of how_ far the saints 
were from disdaining medical skill Having done what 
he could to convey spiritual power, he handed the patient 
on to the surgeon for the necessary physical treatment. 

'* Nor do I think that this further miracle, which Here- 
bald, the servant of Christ, says was wrought upon him- 
self, is to be passed over in silence. He was then one of 
that bishop's clergy, but now presides as abbot in the 
monastery at the mouth of the river T'yne. . . . 
* When they had several times galloped backwards and 
forwards, the bishop and I looking on, my wanton hu- 
mour prevailed, and I could no longer refrain, but though 
he forbade me, I struck in among them and began to ride 
at full speed ; at which I heard him call after me, " Alas ! 
how much you grieve me by riding after that manner/' 
Though I heard him, I went on against his command; 
but immediately the fiery horse taking a great leap over 
a hollow place, I fell, and lost both sense and motion 
as if I had been dead; for there was in that place a 
stone, level with the ground, covered with only a small 
turf, and no other stone to be found in all that plain; 
and it happened, as a punishment for my disobedience, 
either by chance, or by Divine Providence so ordering it, 

8 Bede, Ecclesiastical History, Bk, V, a v. 


that my head and hand, which in failing I had clapped to 
my head, hit upon that stone, so that my thumb was 
broken and my skull cracked, and I lay, as I said, like one 
dead. And because I could not move, they stretched a 
canopy for me to lie in. It was about ^ the seventh hour 
of the day, and having lain still, and as it were dead from 
that time till the evening, I then revived a little, and was 
carried home by my companions, but lay speechless all 
the night, vomiting blood, because something was broken 
within me by the fall The bishop was very much 
grieved at my misfortune, and, expected my death for 
he bore me extraordinary affection. Nor would he stay- 
that night, as he was wont, among his clergy ; but spent 
it all in watching and prayer alone, imploring the Divine 
goodness, as I imagine, for my health. Coming to me 
in the morning early, and having said a prayer over me, 
he called me by my name, and as it were waking me out 
of a heavy sleep, asked, " Whether I knew who it was 
that spoke to me? " I opened my eyes and said, I do; 
you are my beloved bishop/ 1 " Can you live?" said he. 
I answered, " I may, through your prayers, if it shall 
please our Lord." He then laid his hand on my head, 
with the words of blessing, and returned to prayer; when 
he came again to see me, in a short time, he iouncl me 
sitting and able to talk; and, being induced by Divine 
instinct, as it soon appeared, began to ask me, whether 
I knew for certain that I had been baptised t 

This said, he took care to catechise me at that 
very "time; and it happened that he blew upon my face, 
on which I presently found myself better, lie called 
the surgeon, and ordered him to close and bind up my 
skull where it was cracked; and having then received his 
blessing, I was so much better that I mounted on horse- 
back the next day, and travelled with him to another 
place; and being soon afterwards perfectly recovered* 1 
received the baptism of life/"* 

ST. BERNARD, 1091-1153 

We will pass on to a typical figure of the Middle Ages, 
Bernard of Clairvaux, the greatest saint and the most 
powerful man in Europe during the twelfth century. Wo 

* Bcdc, Ecclesiastical History, Bk, V, c, vi 


have records which show that his cures were exceedingly 
abundant. The following translation of a passage from 
Ratisbonne, based on the Journals of Philippe of Clair- 
vaux and of Godefroy, Bernard's secretary, is worth 
quoting in this connection 

(5) St. Bernard 
(Of the Multitudes whom he Healed) 

With regard to the number of cures performed and the 
ringing of bells to proclaim the miracles, the Abbe says 

" The cures were so many that the witnesses them- 
selves were unable to detail them all. At Doningen, near 
Rheinfcld, where the first Sunday of Advent was spent, 
Bernard cured, in one day, nine blind persons, ten who 
were deaf or dumb, and eighteen lame or paralytic. On 
the following Wednesday, at SchafThausen, the number 
of miracles increased; and at last on Friday, they ar- 
rived at Constance. The bells of the town announced 
the wonders which attended the footsteps of the man of 
God. The people, with a thousand cries of ' Kyrie clci- 
son! Kyric eleison! Christ un$ gnade!* ran to meet 
him, giving glory to Jesus Christ. All praised God and 
not one mouth was silent in these manifestations of 

Of these cures Cotter Morison says 

" Thirty-six miraculous cures in one day would seem 
to have been the largest stretch of supernatural power 
which Bernard permitted to himself. The halt, the blind, 
the deaf, and the dumb were brought from all parts to be 
touched by Bernard The patient was presented to him, 
whereupon he made the sign of the cross over the part 
affected, and the cure was perfect." a 

One particular instance may suffice r 

*M. Theodore Hntisbonno, Htetoirc de $. Bernard, Paris, 
1843, Vol. II, i>, 210. 

<*J. Cotter Morison, Life and Times of St. Bernard, 1868, 
P* 4^& 

7 Others given by Cotter Morison (pp, 70, 460) are the 


(6) St. Bernard 
(How he Healed Canon John at Toulouse) 

"Godfrey gives the following instance of his abbot's 
supernatural power, of which he was himself eye-witness. 
* At Toulouse, in the church of St. Saturnmus, in which 
we were lodged, was a certain regular canon, named 
John, John had kept his bed for seven months, and was 
so reduced that his death was expected daily. His legs 
were so shrunken that they were scarcely larger^ than a 
child's arms. He was quite unable to rise to satisfy the 
wants of nature. At last his brother canons refused to 
tolerate his presence any longer among them, and thrust 
him out into the neighbouring village, When the poor 
creature heard of Bernard's proximity, he implored to 
be taken to him. Six men, therefore, carrying him as he 
lay in bed, brought him into a room close to that in 
which we were lodged. The abbot heard him confess his 
sins, and listened * to his entreaties to be restored to 
health. Bernard mentally prayed to God: Behold, O 
Lord they seek for a sign, and our words avail nothing, 
unless they be confirmed with signs following," He then 
blessed him and left the chamber, and so did we all. In 
that very hour the sick man arose from his couch, and 
running after Bernard, kissed his feet with a devotion 
which cannot be imagined by any one who did not see it 
One of the canons, meeting him, nearly fainted with 
fright, thinking he saw his ghost John and the brethren 
then retired to the church and sang a Te Deum. 

healing of a boy with an ulcer in the foot by the sign of 
the cross, and the healing of a man who had had a fever lor 
seven years by giving him blest water to <fnnk. , rt , 

* J. Cotter Morison, Life and Times of St. Bernard, 1868, 
Bk. TV, c. iv, p. 460. There is on p, <5<j an interesting ac- 
count of his visiting a sick monk, William, afterwards Abbot 
of Thierry, and always his devoted friend. William ntMSti'U 
on fasting, and was reprimanded for this hy ^Bernard, who 
afterwards visited him when he was in terrible pain, un<! 
made him promise to eat. Bernard then said, "Rest still, 
then: you will not die this time," and went away; and "at 
once," says William, "all my pain went with him," and he 
was cured, though exhausted, by the night's sufferings. 



St. Francis not only illustrates all that was best in the 
brilliant century when he did his work, but is in our own 
day regarded as one of the most Christ-like men that 
ever lived. His eminent biographer, M. Sabatier, points 
out with obvious relief that not many " miracles " have 
come down to us. "He believed that he could work 
miracles, and he willed to do so," but " miracle-working 
occupies in his life an entirely secondary rank." This 
reticence, as we have observed 10 is characteristic of the 
saints in general: indeed it is one of the marks which 
distinguish history from legend. We have already re- 
ferred to the Stigmata of St. Francis. 11 Of his healing 
powers, M. Sabatier says: "His gentle glance at once 
so compassionate and so strong, which seemed like a mes- 
senger from his heart, often sufficed to make those who 
met it forget all their suffering." l2 He seems to have 
always blessed those whom he healed, with the sign of 
the Cross. The following instances are from the biog- 
raphy of Francis' friend and disciple, Thomas of Celano, 
who had been in the Order eleven years when Francis 
died, and wrote his first Life in 1228-9. 

(7) St. Francis of Assisi 
(How he Blessed a Little Child) 

u Once when Francis the Saint of God was making a 
long Circuit through various regions to preach the gospel 
of God's kingdom he came to a city called Toscanella. 
Mere ... he was entertained by a knight of that 
same city whose only son was a cripple and weak in all his 
body. Though the child was of tender years he had 
passed the a#e of weaning; but he still remained in a 
cradle. The boy's father, seeing the man of God to be 
endued with such holiness, humbly fell at his feet and 
besought him to heal his son. Francis, deeming him- 
self to be unprofitable and unworthy of such power and 
grace, for a long time refused to do it. At last, con- 
quered by the urgency of the knight's entreaties, after 

9 P* Sabaticr, Life of St. Francis of Assisi, Tr. L, S. 
Houghton, 1894, p. 192, 

10 See p. 206. u Scc p, 31, Op. dt. f p. 193, 


offering up prayer, he laid his hand on the boy, blessed 
him, and lifted him up. And in the sight of all, the boy 
straightway arose whole in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and began to walk hither and thither about the 

(8) St. Francis of Assisi 
(A Man Sick of the Palsy) 

"Once when Francis the man of God had come to 
Narni and was staying there several days, a man of that 
city named Peter was lying in bed paralyzed. For five 
months he had been so completely deprived of the use of 
all his limbs that he could in no wise lift himself up or 
move at all; and thus having lost all help from feet, 
hands and head, he could only move his tongue and open 
his eyes. But on hearing that S. Francis was come to 
Narni, he sent a messenger to the Bishop to ask that he 
would, for Divine Compassion's sake, be pleased to send 
the servant of God Most High to him, for he trusted 
that he would be delivered by the sight and presence of 
the Saint from the infirmity whereby he was holclen, and 
so indeed it came to pass ; for when the blessed Francis 
was come to him he made the sign of the cross over 
him from head to feet, and forthwith drove away all his 
sickness and restored him to his former health." ia 

(9) Sh Francis of 
(He Heals the Blind) 

"A woman o the above-named city who had been 
struck blind was found worthy of receiving the longed- 
for light immediately on the blessed Francis making the 
sign of the cross over her eyes*" u 

w Thomas of Celano, in Lives of St. Francis of Awm t Tr. 
A. G. Ferrers Howell, 1908. This and the instances following 
are from Chapters XX1II-XXV (pp. 64-6). 

i* Thomas of Celano, in Lives of St. Francis of Asski, Tr* 
A. G. Ferrers Howell, 1908, p, 66, 


(10) S. Francis of Assisi 
(A Strange Case) 

"There was a brother who often suffered from a 
grievous infirmity that was horrible to see. . . For 
oftentimes he was dashed down, and with a terrible look 
in his eyes he wallowed foaming; sometimes his limbs 
were contracted, sometimes extended, sometimes they 
were folded and twisted together, and sometimes they 
became hard and rigid. Sometimes, tense and rigid all 
over, with his feet touching his head, he would be lifted 
up in the air to the height of a man's stature and would 
then suddenly spring back to earth. The holy father, 
Francis, pitying his grievous sickness, went to him, and 
after offering up prayer, signed him with the red cross and 
blessed him. And suddenly he was made whole, and 
never afterwards suffered from this distressing infirm- 


I insert here an instance from a less well-known per- 
sonage, because it illustrates the more " wonder-work- 
ing " type of miracles, and gives us a vivid picture of 
Medievalism. It claims to be a resurrection from the 
dead, wrought through the intercession of St. Thomas 
twenty-one years after his decease. The medical reader 
will form his own hypothesis as to what really occurred, 
but he may accept the good faith of the witness. The 
evidence as to something remarkable having happened, 
is, it will be noticed, exceedingly strong, and the original 
records of the trial (when Bishop Richard, Thomas' 
successor, was principal witness, together with many 
others drawn from every class of society) are still pre- 
served at the Vatican* The following record is con- 
densed from them* 

St. Thomas tie Cantilttpc 5s notable as the last English- 
man to be officially canonised. He was made Chancellor 
of England by Simon do Montfort in 1265, but resigned 
the same year, after the Battle of Evesham, and two 
years later was made Bishop of Hereford. He was 
famous for his learning and piety. The extant docu- 
ments of his canonisation record no less than 429 mira- 
cles alleged to have been performed by him. 


(n) An Alleged Resurrection 
(1303. By the Prayer of the Saint) 

"On the 6th of September, 1303, Roger, aged two 
years and three months, the son of Gervase, one of the 
warders of Conway Castle, managed to crawl out of 
bed in the night and tumble off a bridge, a distance of 
28 feet; he was not discovered till the next morning, 
when his mother found him half naked and quite dead 
upon a hard stone at the bottom of the ditch, where 
there was no water or earth, but simply the rock, which 
had been quarried to build the castle. Simon Waterford, 
the vicar, who had christened the child, John de Bois, 
John Guffe, all sworn witnesses, took their oaths on 
the Gospel that they saw and handled the child dead. 
The King's Crowners (Stephen Ganny and William 
Nottingham) were presently called for, and went down 
into the moat. They found the child's body cold and 
stiff, and white with hoar-frost, stark dead* indeed. 
While the Crowners, as their office requires, began to 
write what they had seen, one John Syward, a near 
neighbour, came down and gently handled the child's 
body all over, and finding it as dead as ever any, made 
the sign "of the cross upon its forehead, and earnestly 
prayed after this manner: * Blessed St. Thomas Cante- 
lupe, you by whom God has wrought innumerable mira- 
cles, show mercy unto this little infant, and obtain he 
may return to life again. If this grace be granted, he 
shall visit your holy sepulchre and render humble ^thanks 
to God and you for the favour/ No sooner had Syward 
spoken these words, than the child began to move his 
head and right arm a little, and forthwith life and vigour 
came back again into every part of his body. The 
Crowners, and many others who were standing by, saw 
the miracle, and in that very place, with great admira- 
tion, returned humble thanks to God and St. Thomas 
for what they had seen. The mother, now overjoyed, 
took the child in her arms, and went that clay to hear 
mass in a church not far off, where, upon her knees, 
she recognized with a grateful heart that she owed the 
life of her infant to God and St. Thomas. Her devo- 
tion ended, she returned home, and the child, feeling 
no pain at all, walked as he was wont to do up and 


down the house, though a little scar still continued in 
one cheek, which after a few days, quite vanished 
away/' 15 


If St. Francis was the best man of the thirteenth 
century, St Catharine of Siena can certainly be claimed 
as the best woman of the fourteenth, and she was the 
greatest also. When a mere girl she accomplished by 
sheer force of character what no statesman had been 
able to do, and rescued the Papacy from the " Babylonish 
Captivity " at Avignon. The two instances, Nos. 13 and 
14, occurred on her journey back from that city in 1376, 
the first at Toulon, the second at Genoa; it is also 
recorded that on this long journey she stayed a plague by 
prayer at Varazze, and healed many persons at Pisa. Her 
life was written by her constant companion and faithful 
friend, Raimondo da Capua, from whose pen is No. 12; 
I have used the words of Josephine Butler for No. 13: 
and No. 14 is, as stated, from Raimondo and from the 
deposition of Stefano Maconi, who was a friend of 
Neri cli Landoccio, and like him devoted to St. Catha- 
rine and verv dear to her. It is worth mentioning that 
Catharine had an extraordinary psychic power over 
crowds, and also that, like St. Francis, she received the 
Stigmata. Her wonderful character is well illustrated 
iti the beautiful little fragments that follow 

(12) St. Catharine of Siena 
(The Plague: Matte o di Cenni and Raimondo") 

*' In 1373 1 16 was summoned to Siena where I exer- 
cised the function of lector in the convent of my order, 
that of the Dominicans. I was serving God in a cold 
and formal manner when the plague broke out in Siena, 
where it raged with greater violence than in any other 
city. Terror reigned everywhere. Zeal for souls, which 
Is the essence of the spirit of St. Dominic, urged me to 
labor for the salvation of my neighbours- I necessarily 

* 8 Fr0m the original documents, Dublin Review, January, 
1876, pp. 8-10. 
* Raimondo da Capua. 


went very often to the Hospital of la Misericordia. The 
director of that hospital at that time was Father Mat- 
thew of Cenai, an attached friend of Catharine. Every 
morning on my way to the city, I enquired at the Miseri- 
cordia whether any more of the inmates there had been 
attacked with the plague. One day on entering, I saw 
some of the brothers carrying Father Matthew like a 
corpse from the chapel to his room ; his face was livid, 
and his strength was so far gone that he could not 
answer me when I spoke to him. Last night, the 
brothers said, 'about eleven o'clock, while ministering 
to a dying person, he perceived himself stricken, and 
fell at once into extreme weakness/ I helped to put 
him on his bed; . .' . he spoke afterwards, and said 
that he felt as if his head was separated into four parts. 
I sent for Dr. Senso, his physician; Dr. Senso declared 
to me that my friend had the plague, and that everjr 
symptom announced the approach of death % I tear, 
he said, 'that the House of Mercy (Misericordia) is 
about to be deprived of its good director/ I askecl^ if 

a,UUUL IU UC acp* i v wvj. ^4. *^ fevw .- ~~---- , .. , 

medical art could not save him. 'We shall sce, 4 replied 
Senso, 'but I have only a very faint hope; his blood 
is too much poisoned/ I withdrew, praying God to save 
the life of this good man. Catharine, however, had 
heard of the illness of Father Matthew, whom she loved 
sincerely, and she lost no time in repairing to him. The 
moment she entered the room, she cried, with a cheerful 
voice, ' Get up, Father Matthew, get up I This is not a 
time to be lying idly in bed/ Father Matthew roused 
himself, sat up on his bed, and finally stood on his feet. 
Catharine retired; and the moment she was leaving the 
house, I entered it, and ignorant of what had happened, 
and believing my friend to be still at the point of death, 
my grief urged me to say, "Will you allow a person 
so dear to us, and so useful to others, to die?' She 
appeared annoyed at my words, and replied : * In w' iat 
terms do you address me? Am I like God, to deliver 
a man from death ? ' But I, beside myself with sorrow, 
pleaded: ' Speak in that way to others if you will, but not 
to me; for I know your secrets; and l^know that you 
obtain from God whatsoever you ask in faith.' Then 
Catharine bowed her head, and smiled just a little; after 
a few moments she lifted up her head and looked me full 
in the face, her countenance radiant with joy, awl sakl : 


' Well, let us take courage ; he will not die this time/ 
and she passed on. At these words I banished all fear, 
for I understood that she had obtained some favour from 
heaven. I went straight to my sick friend, whom I 
found sitting on the side of his bed. 6 Do you know/ 
he cried, * what she has done for me ? ' He then stood up 
and narrated joyfully what I have here written. To 
make the matter more sure, the table was laid, and 
Father Matthew seated himself at it with us ; they served 
him with vegetables and other light food, and he, who an 
hour before could not open his mouth, ate with us, 
chatting and laughing gaily. Great was our joy and 
admiration; we all thanked and praised God. Nicolas 
d' Andrea, of the Friar Preachers, was there, besides 
students, priests, and more than twenty other persons, 
who all saw and heard what I have narrated." . . . 

" Father Raimondo then recounts, having fallen ill 
himself through his excessive exertions in the plague- 
stricken city, he crawled to Catharine's house, where not 
being able to stand up, he fell prostrate and lay, half- 
conscious till she returned from her labours; how she, 
placing both her pure hands on his forehead, remained 
absorbed in prayer for an hour and a half, how he fell 
into a peaceful slumber, and how on awaking in per- 
fect health, she said to him, ' Go now, and labour for 
the salvation of souls, and render thanks to the Lord, 
who has saved you from this great danger/ Raimondo 
appears to have been indebted to his great powers of 
work, his good sense, exceeding uprightness and truth, 
rather than to any remarkable talents, for the position 
and influence he gradually attained in the Church: an 
honest, faithful, sensible, and laborious man, he proved 
to be the most useful if not the most inspired of Cath- 
arine's helpers," 17 

(13) St. Catharine of Siena 
(1376. She cures the baby at Toulon) 

"The foremost among the women pressed into the 
vestibule of the inn; but Catharine remained concealed 

17 Josephine Butler, Life of St. Catherine of $iena f pp. g6, 
97, 99* 


in her chamber. One of the women, who was very 
retiring and careworn in appearance, carried in her arms, 
her sick baby, a pitiful object, but her treasure. She 
besought the friends of Catharine to ask her to take the 
infant in her arms and cure it ; * for ' she said, she has 
power with God, and can heal diseases: she can restore 
my baby to me which is dying/ The message was taken 
to Catharine, but she declined to undertake this, or to 
appear; for she dreaded the publicity of the occasion. 
But the entreaties and sobs of the poor mother, whose 
petitions were seconded by the other women, were too 
much for her compassionate heart; she came out of her 
chamber and said, 'Where is the little one?' The 
mother pressed forward, and Catharine, full of pity, took 
the baby in her arms, and pressing it to her breast, she 
prayed earnestly and with tears to him who said, ' Suf- 
fer the little children to come unto me.' From that 
moment the child revived, and the whole city was wit- 
ness of its rapid return to health, and of the joy of the 
poor mother." 1S 

(14) St. Catharine of Siena 
(1376. Neri di Landoccio and Stefano Maconi) 

" Catharine and her friends remained more than a 
month at Genoa, at the house of an honorable lady named 
Orietta Scott. Stefano says, in his deposition : ^ ' We 
were nearly all sick while there. Neri di Landoccio fell 
ill first. He suffered dreadful pain; he could neither 
lie in bed nor stand up, but would crawl about on his 
hands and knees all night when other people rested, and 
thus increase his pains. When Catharine hoard of it 
she was filled with compassion, and ordered Father Rai- 
mondo to call in the best medical aid. He promptly 
brought two skilful physicians, who prescribed for Neri ; 
but he became no better/ Raimondo say.s : * We were 
all at dinner when the news came to us that Neri was 
rather worse than better, Stefano ceased to eat; he 
looked very sad, and leaving the table, went straight to 
Catharine's room. He threw himself at her feet, and 
with tears adjured her not to suffer his dear friend, who 
had undertaken this journey for God and for her, to tlie 

18 Josephine Butler, Life of St Catharine of Sicna t p. 191, 


far from his family, and be buried in a strange city. 
Catharine was deeply affected: she said: 'If God wills, 
Stefano, that your friend should thus early reap the 
reward of his labours, you ought not to be afflicted, but 
rather to rejoice/ But Stefano insisted: 'O dearest, 
kindest mother, hear my request. You can do it if you 
will; you can obtain this favour from God.' Catharine 
replied, with a look full of pity, * I only exhorted you to 
conform to God's will. To-morrow, when I go to receive 
the Communion, remind me of your request, and I will 
pray to the Lord for Neri; and meanwhile do you pray 
without ceasing for his recovery/ Stefano did not fail 
to throw himself in her path as she went to the church, 
and said: 'Mother, I entreat you not to deceive my 
expectations/ Catharine remained an unusually long 
time in the church, in prayer. When she returned, she 
smiled on Stefano, who was waiting for her, and said, 
' Be of good cheer, my son ; you have obtained the favour 
you have sought/ Stefano, not quite able to believe for 
joy, eagerly asked: ' Will Neri get well? ' ' Undoubtedly 
he will/ Catharine replied. Stefano hastened to the 
bedside of his friend. He found the physicians there, 
who said, "Although we had given up all hope, his symp- 
toms have changed within the last hour, and we can now 
entertain hope for his recovery/ In a few days Neri 
will be quite well. 

" But Stefano, worn out by his fatigues in nursing 
the patients, and by his anxiety about his beloved friend, 
was attacked by a violent fever. ' As every one loved 
him/ says Baimondo, * we resorted to him to try and con- 
sole him, and all nursed him by turns/ Stefano himself 
gave the following account of it ; * Catharine came, with 
her companions, to pay me a visit, and asked me what I 
was suffering. I, quite delighted at her sweet presence, 
answered gaily, 'They say 1 am ill; but I do not know 
what it is/ She placed her hand on rny forehead; and 
shaking her head and smiling, she said, ' Do you hear 
how this child answers me? They say I am ill, but I 
do not know of what; and he is in a violent fever/ 
Then she added, addressing me : ' But, Stefanp, I do not 
allow you to be ill ; you must get up and wait upon the 
others as before/ She then conversed with us about 
God, as usual, and as she was speaking, I began to feel 
quite wclL I interrupted her to tell them so, and they/ 


were all in astonishment, and very glad. I arose from m> 
bed the same day, and I have enjoyed perfect health 
since that time." 19 

MARTIN LUTHER, 1483-1546 

The fact that therapeutic miracles occur specially in 
times and centres of spiritual revivals could hardly be 
better illustrated than from the lives of two great leaders 
of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, Luther 
and Xavier. In Luther's case the patient who was cured 
by prayer happened to be no less a person than Melanch- 
thon; his illness had been caused by remorse for the action 
which he and Luther had taken in the matter of^ Philip 
of Hesse's bigamy, and it is to this burden of his con- 
science that Luther refers in the following account of 
a contemporary 

(15) Martin Luther 
(Mclanchthon at Weimar) 

"When Luther arrived, he found Melanchthon appar- 
ently dying; his eyes were sunk, his sense gone, his 
speech stopped, his hearing closed, his face fallen in and 
hollow, and, as Luther said, 'Fades erat Htppocrattca.* 
He knew nobody, ate and drank nothing. When Luther 
saw him thus disfigured, he was frightened above measure 
and said to his companions, * God forf end ! how has the 
Devil defaced this Organon!' He then turned forth- 
with to the window and prayed fervently to God. * , * 
Hereupon he grasped Philip by the hand : * Be of good 
courage, Philip, thou shalt not die ; give no place to the 
spirit of sorrow, and be not thine own murderer, but 
trust in the Lord, who can slay and make alive again, 
can wound and bind up, can smite and heal again/ * * 
Then Philip by degrees became more cheerful, and thus 
he gained strength again." 20 

Josephine Butler, Life of St, Catherine of Sitw t p, 193-14. 
20 V. L, von Seckendorff, Ausfuhrlicke Historie at* Ltoth*r> 
.thums, Leipzig, 1714 III, p. x88fc 


ST. FRANCIS XAVIER, 1506-1552 

No miracles recounted of this wonderful man are so 
marvellous as his life itself. It should be remembered 
that Xavier, who was Professor of Philosophy at twenty, 
among 1 other things, studied medicine and worked in the 
hospitals. He fought the plague at Malacca by the ordi- 
nary medical methods, and was all his life a devoted 
\yorker among- the side Miracles, however, occur in 
his life, two of which we print here 

(16) St. Francis Xavier 
(A Snake-bite) 

" A certain Tome" Paninguem, a fencing-master, says : 
' I knew Antonio de Miranda, who was a servant of the 
Father Francis, and assisted him when saying Mass. 
He told me that when going one night on business to 
Combature, he was bitten by a venomous serpent. He 
immediately fell down as though paralysed and became 
speechless. He was found thus lying unconscious. 
Informed of the fact, Father Francis ordered Antonio to 
be carried to him: and when he was laid down speech- 
less and senseless, the Father prayed with, all those 
present. The prayer finished, he put a little saliva with 
his finger on the bitten place on Antonio's foot, and at 
the same moment, Antonio recovered his senses, his 
memory and his speech, and felt himself healed. I have 
since heard details of this occurrence from the mouths of 
several eye-witnesses." 21 

(17) St. Francis Xavier 
(He Heals a Little C,httd) 

"A Portuguese in Cochin China relates the follow- 

w In my father's house, one of my brothers, four years 
old, was ill of fever and given up by the doctors. One 
day, Father Francis came in at the very moment when 
the fever was at its height He approached the bed, 

Jos. Mark Cros, St. Francois de Xavier. Sa Vie et ses 
1900, ii p. 392. 


put his hand on the child, and expressed great sympathy; 
which my father noticing, he said to Father Francis: 
'For four months the little fellow has been suffering 
thus.' Then Father Francis read a gospel over him and 
blessed him. The very instant that he was finishing the 
sign of the cross, the child opened his eyes and teed them 
smilingly on Father Francis, as though thanking him. 
All the family came in, the child was examined and found 
free from fever ; he was healed to the great astonishment 
of all." 22 


The life of the wise and genial Founder of the Orator- 
ians contains many instances of spiritual healing. We 
will print four of the most interesting; but it is worth 
while alluding to one other, that of Caterma Kuissi, 
whose tumor seems clearly to have been of a hysterical 
nature. St Philip's method of dealing with her could 
not be improved in the light of our modern knowledge: 
"' There my child/" he said, "'don't be afraid. You 
won't be troubled with it any more. It will soon be 
well.' And so it was." 28 

(18) St. Philip Ncri 
(He Touches Pietro Vittrici'] 

" In 1560 Pietro Vittrici of Parma, being in the service 
of Cardinal Boncornpagni, afterwards Pope Gregory 
XIII, fell dangerously ill. He was given up by the 
physicians, and was supposed to be as good as (lead. In 
this extremity he was visited by Philip who, as soon as 
he entered the sick man's room, began, as was his 
wont, to pray for him. He then put his hand on Pietro's 
forehead, and at the touch he instantly revived. In 
two days' time he was out of the house perfectly well 
and strong and went about telling people how he had 
been cured by Father Philip." 2 * 

22 Jos, Marie Cros, St. Frangois de Xavier* Sa Vic et ses 
lettrcs, 1900, ii. p. 412. 

211 P. J. Bacci, Life of St. Philip Neri. Tr K Antrobu 
1902, ii, p. 1 68. 

24 Ibid., ii, p. 161. 


(19) St. Philip Neri 

(He Lays his Hands on Maurizio Anerio) 

"Maurizio Anerio was a penitent of the saint's and 
had a grievous infirmity which was accompanied with 
excessive internal pain, and many dangerous symptoms. 
Indeed, the physicians were of opinion that he could 
not possibly live, as he had lost the use of his speech, 
and his pulse could hardly be felt. Philip went to visit 
him, and after he had come into the room and prayed as 
usual, he said to those who were standing by, * Say a 
Pater noster and an Ave Maria, for I should not like 
this man to die yet'; then he placed his hands on the 
sick man's head and stomach and immediately afterwards 
went away without saying a word. At the moment of 
Philip's touch the sick man perfectly recovered his health ; 
his speech was restored, and his pulse became strong and 
even; all the pain ceased, and not a trace of weakness was 
left behind." -* 

(20) St. Philip Neri 
(He Touches Lucrezia Grazzi) 

"Lucrezia Grazzi had a cancer in one of her breasts 
and the physicians had determined to apply the hot 
iron to it, and ordered her to remain in bed for the 
operation. She, however, in the meanwhile, moved with 
faith in her holy father, betook herself to the Chiesa 
Nuova, and related her case to him. Philip answered, 
' Oh, my poor child, where is this cancer?' She pointed 
to it, saying: ' Here, my Father/ Then the Saint, touch- 
ing the diseased part, added, * Go in peace and doubt not 
that you shall recover.' When she was come home, she 
said to those who were present, *I feel neither pain 
nor oppression, and I firmly believe I am cured/ and so 
it proved to be. Soon after the physicians came to 
cauterize the cancer, and were lost in astonishment at 
finding not a trace of the disease," 2<x 

E J. Bacci, Life of Si Philip Neri, 2, p, 162. 
rf.> ii, p. 169. 


'(21) St. Philip Neri 
(How He Cured the Pope of Gout) 

"The holy Father having heard that his Holiness 
Clement VIII was laid up with the gout in his hand, 
felt himself moved to pray for his recovery, it being so 
desirable a thing for the public good. ... He went, 
therefore, one day to see the Pope. When he came 
into the room, his Holiness who, from the acute pain 
would not bear any one to touch the bed he lay on, told 
him not to come any nearer. Philip, however, continued 
to advance until he was close by the side of the Pope, who 
again bade him stop and not on any account to touch 
him. Philip then said: 'Your Holiness need have no 
fear ! ' and forthwith he caught hold of the Pope's hand, 
and with much affection and zeal, and with his wonted 
trembling, he pressed it, and the pain ceased; so that the 
Pope said, 'Now you may continue to touch me, for I 
find great relief/ Clement himself many times related 
this miracle to Cardinal Baronius, and, moreover, he told 
it once in presence of eight or ten Cardinals of the 
Congregation for examining Bishops, and used often to 
urge it in proof of Philip's sanctity." 2T 

(22) A Relic-cure at Port Royal 

I am including this interesting case under the great 
name of Pascal, though he had no share in it, because 
Marguerite Perier was his niece, and he himself was so 
impressed by the occurrence that he added to his armorial 
bearings an eye, surrounded by a crown of thorns, with 
the motto scio cui credidi. Marguerite lived eighty years 
after her cure. Several later cures are related of the 
same source in a tract of 1656. as On March 14111, 1646, 
a " sacred thorn from the Crown of our Saviour " was 
presented to the Convent at Port Royal: a Mass of 
Thanksgiving was sung, and it was during the procession 

27 P. J. Bacci, Life of St. Philip^ Neri, ii, p. 172. 

28 "A contemporary account written at the time, translated 
from a French copy published at Paris, 1656, entitled *A 
Relation of Sundry Miracles/" etc. 


to the shrine after the Mass that the following incident 
happened to Marguerite, who was about to undergo the 
operation of cautery. We translate from the French 

" A young pensioner m the monastery, by name 
Margaret Perier, who for three years and a half had 
suffered from a lachrymal fistula, came up in her turn to 
kiss it; and the nun, her mistress, more horrified than 
ever at the swelling and deformity of her eye, had a 
sudden impulse to touch the sore with the relic, believ- 
ing that God was sufficiently able and willing to heal 
her. She thought no more of the matter, but the little 
girl having retired to her room, perceived a quarter of 
an hour after that her disease was cured ; and when she 
told her companions, it was indeed found that nothing 
more was to be seen of it There was no more tumour; 
and her eye, which the swelling (continuous for three 
years) had weakened and caused to water, had become as 
dry, as healthy, as lively as the other. The spring of the 
filthy matter, which every quarter of an hour "ran down 
from nose, eye, and mouth and at the very moment before- 
the miracle had fallen upon her cheek (as she declared 
in her deposition) was found to be quite dried up; the 
tone, which had been rotten and putrefied, was restored 
to its former condition; all the stench, proceeding from 
it, which had been so insupportable that by order of the 
physicians and surgeons she was separated from her com- 
panions, was changed into a breath as sweet as an in- 
fant's ; and she recovered at the same moment her sense 
of smell. . . . 

" Mons. Felix, Chief Surgeon to the King, who had 
seen her during 1 the month of April, was curious enough 
to return on the 8th of August, and having found the 
cure as thorough and marvellous as it had seemed to him 
at the time, declared under his hand that ' he Svas obliged 
to confess that God alone had the power to produce an 
effect so sudden and extraordinary/ " 20 

* Response A un Merit intituU. " Observations sur ce qui 
/e$t pa$s$ & Port Royal, au sujet dc la Saints Espintf Paris, 


GEORGE Fox, 1624-1691 

As in the case of other leaders of great spiritual move- 
ments, so do we find works of healing in the founder of 
the Quakers. Here, again, we have a man of immense 
spiritual intensity moved to use his powers for the heal- 
ing of the sick. The incidents are told in Fox's own sim- 
ple language. They are not very remarkable ; but it must 
be remembered that Fox's religious views did not lead 
him in this direction, while at the same time he was not 
surrounded by that atmosphere of expectant faith which 
would naturally exist among those who sought the bless- 
ing of a saint in Catholic circles. 

(23) George Fox 
(1649: He Prays for a Sick Man) 

" As I was passing on in Leicestershire, I came to Twy- 
Cross. . . . There was in that town a great man, 
that had long lain sick, and was given up by the physi- 
cians; and some Friends in the town desired me to go 
and see him. I went up to him in his chamber, and 
spoke the word of life to him, and was moved to pray by 
him- and the Lord was entreated, and restored him to 
health." 30 

(24) George Pox 
(1653: He Speaks the Word) 

"After some time I went to a meeting at Arnside, 
where Richard Myer was who had been long lame of one 
of his arms. I was moved of the Lord to say unto him, 
amongst all the people, 'Stand up on thy legs' (for he 
was sitting down) and he stood up, and stretched Out 
his arm that had been lame a long time ami said, 4 He it 
known unto you, all people, that this day I am healed, 
Yet his parents could hardly believe it; but after the 
meeting was done, they had him aside, took off his doub- 
let and then saw it was true. He came soon after to 

* Journal of George Fox, eighth edition* Published by 
Friends' Tract Association, I, 49. 


Swarthmore meeting, and then declared how that the 
Lord had healed him." 31 

(25) George Fox 
(1683: He Relieves James Clay pole) 

" The next day I went to Guildford, in Surrey, where 
I had a very blessed meeting amongst Friends, free from 
disturbance. While I was there, James Claypole, of Lon- 
don (who was there with his wife also), was suddenly 
taken ill with so violent a fit of the stone, that he could 
neither stand nor lie; but, through the extremity of the 
pain, cried out When I heard it, I was much exercised in 
spirit for him; and went to him. After I had spoken a 
few words to him, to turn his mind inward, I was moved 
to lay my hand upon him, and prayed the Lord to rebuke 
his infirmity. As I laid my hand on him the Lord's 
power went through him ; and through faith in that power 
he had speedy ease, so that he quickly fell into a sleep. 
When he awoke, he was so relieved and well, that next 
day he rode with me five-and-twenty miles in a coach ; 
though he used formerly (as he said) to He sometimes 
two weeks, sometimes a month, in one of those fits. But 
the Lord was entreated for him, and by his power soon 
gave him ease at this time; blessed and praised be his 
holy name therefor ! " 82 

JOHN WESLEY, 1703-1791 

We naturally turn to the next great leader of spiritual 
recovery in England. It will be noticed that only in the 
first two of the following cases related by John Wesley 
was he himself directly concerned. Nos* 28 and 29 are 
cases of religious self-suggestion. 88 

(26) John Wesley 
(Oct. i6th, 1778; He Prays for a Sick Person) 

"Immediately after a strange scene 4 occurred. I was 
desired to visit one who had been eminently pious, but 

w Journal of George Fox> eighth edition. Published by 
Friends 1 Tract Association, I, pp. 158-9. 
**Ibid.,tt, pp. 377-8. 
* See p, 179, 



had now been confined to her bed for several months, and 
was utterly unable to raise herself up. She desired us 
to pray, that the chain might be broken. A tew of us 
prayed in faith. Presently she rose up, dressed herself, 
came down stairs, and, I believe, had not any further 
complaint." S4 

(27) John Wesley 

(April 24th, 1782 : He Prays for Mr. Floyd) 

" But on Thursday the rain turned to snow : on Friday, 
I got to Halifax, where Mr. Floyd lay in a high fever, 
almost dead for want of sleep. This was prevented by 
the violent pain in one of his feet, which was much 
swelled, and so sore, it could not be touched. We joined 
in prayer that God would fulfil his word, and give his 
beloved sleep. Presently the swelling, the soreness, the 
pain were gone; and he had a good night's rest" 36 

(28) John Wesley 

(Oct. 2$th, 1787: Self -cure by Faith) 

" In returning to Canterbury, I called upon Mr. Kings- 
ford, a man of substance as well as piety. He in- 
formed me : ' Seven years ago, I so entirely lost the use 
of my ankles and knees, that I could no more stand than 
a new-born child. Indeed, I could not lie in bed without 
a pillow laid between my legs, one of them beinj; unable 
to bear the weight of the other. I could not move from 
place to place but on two crutches. All the advice I 
had profited me nothing, In this state I continued above 
six years. Last year I went on business to London, then 
to Bristol and Bath. At Bath I sent for a physician; 
but before he came, as I sat reading the Bible, I thought 
'Asa sought to the Physicians and not to God; but God 
can do more for me than any Physician/ Soon after 1 
heard a noise in the street; and, rising up, found I could 
stand. Being much surprised, I walked several times 
about the room; then I walked into the square, and after- 
wards on the Bristol road; and from that time 1 have 

S *J. Wesley, Journal (ed. " Rhys), iv, p. 142, 
iv, p. 231 


been perfectly well, having as full use of all my limbs as 
I had seven years ago." 38 

(29) John Wesley 
(Oct. 7th, 1790: "Lord, if Thou wilt") 

" Here an eminently pious woman, Mrs. Jones, at whose 
house I ^topped, gave me a very strange account: Many 
years since she was much hurt in lying-in. She had 
various Physicians, but still grew worse and worse; till, 
perceiving herself to be no better, she left them off. She 
had a continual pain in her groin, with such a prolapsus 
uteri as soon confined her to her bed: there she lay two 
months, helpless and hopeless; till a thought came one 
day into her mind: * Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make 
me whole ! Be it according to thy will ! ' Immediately 
the pain and the disorder ceased. Feeling herself well, 
she rose, and dressed herself. Her husband coming in, 
and seeing her in tears, asked, 'Are these tears of sor- 
row or joy?' She said, 'Of joy!' on which they wept 
together. From that hour she felt no pain, but enjoyed 
perfect health, I think our Lord never wrought a plainer 
miracle, even in the days of his flesh," 8T 


Alexander Leopold Franz Emmerich, Prince of Ho- 
hcnlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingfurst, was born in 1794, an 
eighteenth child. He was a man of saintly character, 
who spent his goods and his life in the service of the 
poor. In 1815 he was ordained priest, and began his 
cure of souls at once in the midst of a great epidemic, 
through which he passed unscathed, fearlessly visiting 
the sick. In 1817 he removed to Baniberg, and here 
he first became famous throughout Germany for healing 
the sick through prayer and the laying-on of hands. In 
1821 he was ordered by the Pope to give an account of 
his cures: to this account the Pope's reply was unexpected; 
lie was referred to a decree of the Council of Trent, 
according to which no miracle can be admitted which 
has not been tested and approved by the bishop. The 

* J. Wesley, Journal (eel E, Rhys), iv, p. 413* 
*i/bid., iv, p. 512, 


sanitary police at Bamberg also interfered, whereupon 
the prince went to live in Vienna, and afterwards in 
Hungary. He became titular Bishop of Sondica and 
Abbot of the monastery of St. Michael at Goboyin. In 
his later years he retired to Innsbruck, but his fame as a 
healer and benefactor of humanity was such that during 
his stay of one year (1848-9) there were 18,000 people 
who obtained access to him a number which is au- 
thenticated because he gave each person a little picture 
as a memento. 38 He died in 1849. Thus like many 
other men of his kind he was short-lived. In a fully- 
recorded modern life like his we find the reason easily 
enough. No one could interview people in this enormous 
number without spending his own vitality at a dangerous 
rate, and his interviews must have been of the most 
exacting nature. " The prince prayed," says Wurzbach, 
"unceasingly over the maimed and those seeking help, 
then he demanded from them a firm faith, and in many 
cases the cure was a success." 3J> The wonder indeed is 
that he lived so long. 

Brunner, 40 writing within two years of his death, 

"The healing of the sick which he accomplished 
through earnest faith and prayer earned him the thanks 
of many. He looked upon himself as a weak instrument 
of God and used to say: * God has rewarded the faith 
of those who in all their concerns and troubles have built 
their hopes on prayer/ . . . His first cure was in 
conjunction with the peasant Michael, who had already 
a reputation for miracle-working in Baden. . ." 

As Hohenlohe brings us down to the age of modern 
science, and worked cures within living memory, it will 
be worth while to print the contemporary record of sev- 
eral cases. These were written by R N* Baur, a Vicar 

38 The source of this is a Biographical Notice by G. N. 
Pachtler, published in 1850 by Kollman at Au#sbur#. It is. 
quoted in Bmrmer's work mentioned below. 

so Wurzbach's account is in the Bwyrtiphischos Lexicon, 
Vienna, 1863, ix, p. 198. 

40 S, Brunncr, Aus dcm Nachlasse drs Fursteii * * 
Hohcnlohe-S chilling furst, Regewsbttrg, 1851, pf>. i-ao-t. 

41 Franz Nicholas Baur, Vicar and Domiaiealis Major of 


of the Wiirzburg Chapter, and occurred during twenty- 
four days in that city and at Bamberg in 1821 

(30) Prince Hohenlohe 

(June 20th, 1821 : Cure of Princess Matilda of Schwart- 
zenberg and others) 

"For sixteen days the prince's singular humility, af- 
fability, and piety, procured him not only the love of our 
venerable Crown Prince, but the universal esteem, ad- 
miration, affection, and confidence of the most distin- 
guished of the ministry and common council. He did 
and taught in the true spirit of Jesus Christ. With per- 
fect confidence he has restored persons declared incur- 
able; he has- made the blind see the deaf hear the 
lame walk; and paralytics he has perfectly cured. The 
number of these already amounts to thirty-six persons, 
amongst whom is the Princess Matilda of Schwartzen- 
berg. Amongst others who have been restored to sight, 
the mother of Mr. Polzano, the man-milliner deserves 
to be mentioned. She is the general subject of conver- 
sation throughout the city. By firm confidence in God, 
with Gocl, and in God, he performs these cures. This is 
his secret, his magnetic power and his sympathy.** He 
has chosen for his companion, a man of low condition, a 
good, honest and pious countryman. 43 All his works are 
examined by the police, and by order of the government 
duly registered." 44 

Cure of Princess Matilda of Schwartzenberg, 17 years 
of age (1821, June 28th). "She was lame in her 8th 
year, and remained so till the soth day of this month, 
between 10 and n o'clock in the morning. An hour 
after, a new steel spring machine, worth 200 florins, was 

. . Wurzburg. A Short and Faithful Description of the 
remarkable Occurrences and benevolent holy conduct of his 
Serene Highness, Prince Alexander of Hohenlohe . _ . * 
during his Residence of twenty-four days in the City of 
Wurxhurg in twelve Confidential Letters. Translated from 
the German, London: Keating and Brown, 1822. 

42 The italics are in the original. 

** The peasant Michael of Unterwittighausen, 

** Baur, Op, cit. Letter i, pp. 12-14. 



brought for her by the skilful engineer and celebrated in- 
strument maker, Heine; of which being now cured, she 
had no need. Fourteen days ago the recovery of the 
Princess was despaired of. It was only with the most 
violent pain that she could lie in a horizontal position, 
and only by means of a machine constructed by Mr. 
Heine, could she be something freer from pain in bed; 
because it supported her and brought her nearer to a 
perpendicular direction, and in this state the Prince of 
Hohenlohe found her; where praying with him and his 
disciple, Martin Michael, and with full confidence in God ; 
at his command to arise, she was instantly cured. She 
stepped out of bed alone, threw the machine from her, 
was dressed, and walked afterwards in the courtyard and 
in the garden, performed her devotions the next morn- 
ing in the church, with praises and thanksgivings, vis- 
ited the garden of the court and Julius Hospital, and 
went on the 24th inst. in company with friends to the 
sermon of the Prince of Hohenlohe, in the Collegiate 
Church of Haug, and continues to this hour perfectly 
well. On the 20th of June in the morning the Princess 
could neither turn herself in bed nor stand on either 
of her feet An hour after her cure the Princess re- 
ceived a visit from Mr. Heine, when, going to meet him 
at the door, she said, e God has .healed me you haye 
done a great deal for me, I thank you all for your kind 

"This unexpected appearance and divine interposition 
overpowered our dear Mr. Heine to such a degree, that 
he left the Princess dumb with astonishment and pale 
as death. Now he says: 'God and myself have cured 
the Princess/ When the Princess met him at the door 
after her cure, he fell down at her feet crying out, * My 
God, this I should never have expected/ 

"The prince himself notified this astonishing cure in 
writing to the Upper Burgomaster of Wiir/.burg and says 
in his letter: 'The instantaneous cure of the Princess 
is a fact which cannot be called in question. It was the 
result of a lively faith in the power and divinity of the 
name of Jesus. It was done to her as she had be- 
lieved." 4C 

40 Baur, Op. cit. Letters ii, iix, pp. 15-22, aj *d Letter viii, 
p. 50. 


(31) Prince Hohenlohe 
(Other Cures at Wurzburg) 

" Other remarkable cures have been wrought at the fol- 
lowing places: Upon the sister of Mrs. Broili, the 
grocer, who lav under the physician's care, almost dead, 
but was healed on the spot, and now enjoys full health 
and vigour. Likewise on a book-keeper of hers, a na- 
tive of Vplkach, whose speech was greatly affected by a 
disorder in his tongue, but who now speaks perfectly 
well. The child of Mr. Gulemann, who was attended by 
medical men, being entirely blind; but was restored on 
the spot and to this hour remains blessed with perfect 

" Moreover, the daughter of Mr. Mel, the King's cel- 
larer, who was deaf; she ran about the house, crying 
out for joy, ' I can hear perfectly well ! * 

41 A boy of four years old was brought from Grossen- 
langheim, who, for 3J4 years, had had one of his eyes 
entirely covered by the eyelid, and his other eye cov- 
ered with a film. This boy was so perfectly restored 
by the prayers of the Prince, that both his eyes are now 
sound and well and the same afternoon he went up and 
down all the steps of the Quanteischer House in this 

" A wine merchant came from Konigshofen, whose 
hands and feet had been for four years so much con- 
tracted that his hands were fast clenched like a fist, and 
he could scarcely use them at all. This man was in- 
stantaneously restored, so that he can stand upright on 
his feet and walk and also open and shut his hands, and 
enjoys the perfect use of them. It is remarkable also, 
that from the long and close clenching of the hands, 
the nails have produced a kind of horny substance in 
the hands like corns. 

" A man from Sclwemelsbach, who had not been able 
for eight years to raise himself once in his bed, was 
brought in a carriage before the residence of the Rev. 
Prince, who was just starting on a journey. The prince 
was in the greatest haste, but still wished to relieve 
this afflicted man; and accordingly opened his window 
and began to pray from it; desiring 1 the sick to pray at 
the same time. After giving him his blessing, he called 


out to the man to arise. This he could not do, and the 
prayer was repeated, whereupon the sick man raised him- 
self a little and declared that he was quite free from 
pain. The prayer was again repeated, and then the man 
arose entirely by himself, got out of the vehicle, went 
from thence to the Collegiate Church of Haug, and there 
returned thanks to God for his deliverance. Who would 
think of pretending that in this case there could have 
been any application of magnetism; when from the Prince 
who spoke and prayed from his window upstairs, to the 
sick man, there was so great a distance as to render 
breathing upon him, and much more touching him, quite 
impossible." * 

(32) Prince Hohenlohe 

(Cures at Bamberg Recorded on My 6th, 1821) 

"There came a letter from Bamberg, of the 3rd in- 
stant, where the prince has begun to perform cures as 
he did here. 

"He restored two sisters to the use of their limbs, 
who had not left their beds for ten years. 

"The counsellor, Jacob, who had been confined to his 
room for four years, accompanied his deliverer from the 
third story to the house-door : The beneficed clergyman, 
Rev. Mr. Sollner, of Hallstadt, before the residence of 
the Prince, in the presence of a number of persons, was 
cured of the gout as he sat in the carriage, ami im- 
mediately alighted and went through the town on foot." 4T 

(33) Prince Hohenlohe 

(Two cures at a distance, 1822 and 1823) 

Hohenlohe often offered to join in prayer with sick 
people at a set hour when he was celebrating the Holy 
Communion. There are two accounts o cures in Ire* 
land, while the Prince was in Bamberg; both are ex- 
ceedingly interesting for the detail with which the 
method is described and the confidence which was .shown 
by all concerned, but their length obliges me to omit the 

* 6 Baur, Op. cit Letters iv, v, pp. 58-60, 
* 7 Baur, Op, cit Letter vi, pp. 40, 41* 


case of Sister Barbara O'Connor, 48 except for one valua- 
ble extract, the text of the Prince's letter. 

A Letter from Hohenlohe 

" To the religious nun in England. On the 3rd of 
May, at eight o'clock, I will offer, in compliance with 
your request, my prayers for your recovery. Having 
made your confession, and communicated, offer up your 
own also with that fervency of devotion and entire faith 
which we owe to our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Stir up 
from the bottom of your heart the divine virtues of true 
repentance, of Christian charity to all men, of firm belief 
that your prayers will be favourably received and a 
steadfast resolution to lead an exemplary life, to the end 
that you may continue in a state of grace. 

'* Accept the assurance of my regard, 

"Prince Alexander Hohenlohe." 
" Bamberg, 

"March 16, 1822." 

(The Case of Miss Lalor, June gth, 1823) 

The account of the cure is contained in a letter fromi 
Nicholas O, Connor, rector of Maryborough, and rural 
dean, to the Bishop of Kildare * 

" In compliance with your request, I send you a state- 
ment of the facts relative to Miss Lalor which I have 
heard from others and witnessed myself. I am now in 
the house where she was first deprived of speech (this 
was after an illness in her nth year). She is at present 
in her eighteenth year; and as she is connected with 
most of the respectable Catholic families in the country, 
and has had frequent intercourse with them, her priva- 
tion of speech during six years and five months is estab- 

4S John Badeley. Authentic Narrative of the Extraordinary 
Cure performed by Prince Hohenlohe . . . by John 
Baddey, M.D., Protestant Physician to the Convent. ( British 
Museum: Medical Tracts, 1718-1823), pp. -20. 

40 James Doyle, Bishop of Kildare. Miracles said to have 
been wrought by Prince Hohenlohe, on Miss Lalor in Ire* 
land. With an Appendix of Letters. London, 1823, pp. i8~ 



lished beyond contradiction. Her hearing and under- 
standing remained unimpaired, and she earned a tablet 
and pencil to write what she could not communicate by 


" Medical aid was tried by Dr. Ferns of Atty and 
Surgeon Smith of Mountrath, but without eftect. Ihe 
latter gentleman (as a similar case never occurred in 
the course o his practice) submitted it to eight emi- 
nent physicians in Dublin, and the result was that no 
hopes could be entertained of her recovery. This deci- 
sion was imparted by Dr. Smith to her father, apart 
from Mrs. and Miss Lalor: all which circumstances the 
Doctor recollected on the 14th instant when he saw 
Miss Lalor, heard her speak, and declared the cure to 
be miraculous. ,. 

"You, my lord, are already aware that according to 
your directions, written to me on the ist of June, I 
waited on Mr. Lalor, and communicated to him and to 
his family all that you desired. 

[This was that in accordance with the Prince's instruc- 
tions Miss Lalor and her friends were to join in devo- 
tion in honour of the Holy Name of Jesus and m honour 
of St. John Nepomuscene for nine days preceding the 
tenth of June on which day she was to confess and re- 
ceive the holy Communion at Mass to be celebrated at 
the hour of nine o'clock.] 

"They observed it with every exactness and on the 
morning of the roth instant, having heard Miss Lalor's 
confession by signs and disposed her for receiving the 
Holy Communion, I read to her again from your Lord- 
ship's letter, the directions of the Prince, viz,, that she 
would excite within her a sincere repentance, ^ a firm 
resolution of obeying God's commands, a lively faith, ana 
unbounded confidence in his mercy, an entire^ conformity 
to his holy will, and a disinterested love of him* 

" I had previously requested the clergy of this district 
to offer up for Miss Lalor the holy sacrifice of the Mass, 
at twelve minutes before eight o'clock in the morning of 
the xoth (the meridian of Bamberg differs from that of 
Maryborough by i hour and 12 minutes) keeping the* imit- 
ter a secret from most others ; however, as it transpired 
somewhat, a considerable number collected in the chapel, 


when my two coadjutors, with myself, began Mass at the 
hour appointed. I offered the holy sacrifice in the name 
of the Church. I besought the Lord to overlook my own 
unworthiness, and regard only Jesus Christ the great 
High Priest and Victim, who offers himself in the Mass 
to his Eternal Father, for the living and the dead. I 
implored the Mother of God, of all the angels and saints 
and particularly of St. John Nepomuscene. 

" I administered the sacrament to the young lady at the 
usual time, when instantly she heard, as it were, a voice 
distinctly saying to her ; * Mary, you are weLl f J when she 
exclaimed, * O Lord, am I ? ' and, overwhelmed with de- 
votion, fell prostrate on her face. She continued in this 
posture for a considerable time, whilst I hastened to con- 
clude the Mass; but was interrupted in my thanksgiving 
immediately after by the mother of the child pressing 
her to speak. 

" When at length she was satisfied in pouring out her 
soul to the Lord, she took her mother by the hand, and 
said to her : * Dear mother/ upon which Mrs, Lalor 
called the clerk, and sent for me, as I had retired to 
avoid the interruption, and on coming to where the young 
lady was, I found her speaking in an agreeable, clear and 
distinct voice, such as neither she nor her mother could 
recognize as her own. 

" As she returned home in the afternoon, the doors and 
windows in the street through which she passed were 
crowded with persons, gazing with wonder at this mon- 
ument of the power and goodness of Almighty God. 
Thus, my Lord, I have given you a simple statement of 
facts according to your commands, without adding to, or 
distorting what I have seen and heard, the truth of which, 
this very notoriety places beyond all doubt, and which 
numberless witnesses, as well as myself, could attest by 
the most solemn appeal to heaven/' 

FATHER MATHEW, 1790-1856 

Theobald Mathew, the famous apostle of Temperance, 
was to the Ireland of the nineteenth century what John 
Wesley had been in the eighteenth to England; he also 
travelled over England and Scotland, and spent two years 
in America He was at first head of the Capuchin mon- 
astery at Cork, 1814, and in nine months he had induced 


200,000 persons to take the pledge. His chief fellow- 
worker was William Martin, a Quaker. Later^ m life he 
became penniless, and Queen Victoria gave him an an- 
nuity of 300 a year in recognition of his services. ^ As 
will be seen from No. 34 below, he had at first no idea 
of healing people. 

(34) Father Mathew 
(His First Cure) 

"A young lady, of position and intelligence, was for 
years the victim of the most violent head-aches, which as- 
sumed a chronic character. Eminent advice was had but 
in vain ; the malady became more intense, the agony more 
-excruciating. Starting up one day from the sofa on 
which she lay in a delirium of pain, she exclaimed * I 
cannot endure this torture any longer ; I will go and see 
what Father Mathew can do for me/ She immediately 
proceeded to Lehenagh, where Father Mathew was then 
sick and feeble. Flinging herself on her knees before 
him she besought his prayers and blessing. In fact, 
stung by intolerable suffering she asked him to cure her. 
*My dear child, you ask me what no mortal has power 
to do. The power to cure rests alone with God. I have 
no such power/ 'Then bless me, and pray for me 
place your hand on my head/ implored the afflicted lady. 
* I cannot refuse to pray for you, or to bless you/ said 
Father Mathew, who did pray for and bless her, ami 
place his hand upon her poor throbbing brow. Was it 
faith? was it magnetism? was it the force of im- 
agination exerted wonderfully? I shall not venture to 
pronounce which it was; but that lady returned to her 
home perfectly cured of her distressing malady, More 
than that cured completely, from that moment, for- 

(35) Father Mathew 
(Cure of Lunacy) 

" A young man was being taken by his friends to the 
Lunacy Asylum of Cork, and the treatment which he rc- 

BO John Francis Maguire, M.P., Father Mathcw, 1864, pp 


ceived at their hands was not such as to improve his 
condition. Bound on a car, his limbs tied with cords, 
and his ^ head exposed to the rays of a fierce sun, he was 
thus being conveyed to the asylum, when the conductors 
conceived the idea of first taking him to Father Mathew, 
and turned the horse's head towards Lehenagh. Father 
Mathew's heart was filled with compassion at the specta- 
cle of a human being- bound like a wild beast, uttering 
strange cries, and foaming at the mouth. He spoke to 
him kindly and gently, and thus soothed his chafed spirit ; 
and he then desired his friends to loose the cords that 
bound him, and to protect his head from the sun. The 
effect of the kind voice, the gentle words, and the sooth- 
ing touch, was marvellous upon the patient, who had suf- 
fered from violent paroxysms but shortly before. The 
poor fellow recognised Father Mathew, in whose power 
to serve him he seemed to have confidence, and he prom- 
ised that if he were brought back home, he would do 
everything that he was asked to do; and upon Father 
Mathew's intercession, he was brought back, instead of 
being placed in the asylum. In a month afterwards a 
fine handsome young man, well dressed, and well-man- 
nered, came to Lehenagh, to return him thanks for what 
he had done for him/' 01 

(36) Father Mathew 
(A Personal Testimony) 

The following letter was sent to Mr. J. F. Maguire, 
who vouches for the good character of the writer; 

" My eyes got very bad, and I was afraid I was going- 
to lose my sight altogether, which would have brought 
me to ruin* I was obliged to stay away from my business 
in the market I became so blind; so I said I would 
go over to Cove Street and see his reverence, which I 
did I was so bad that I got a boy to lead me in the 
streets. Father Mathew was there before me, and was 
glad to see me, and shook hands with me, as he always 
did; he was kind to simple and gentle, and there was no 
sort of pride in him at all, So I tolcl him how bad I 

** John Francis Magtiirc, M.P, Father Mathew, 1864, p. 532. 


was, and sure he saw that, for he asked me how did I 
<r e t so bad. I knelt down, and he prayed for me, and put 
his hand on my head, and made the sign of the cross on 
my eyes, and he said it wouldn't signify, and that I 
would be well shortly; and sure I was, for I walked home 
without the boy helping me, and I was as well as ever 
that day. I brought my wife to him another day and he 
cured her of a sore bosom, as all the neighbours know. 

(37) Father Mathew 
(A Case of Hysteria) 

"A girl, whose hands were tightly clenched, and the 
nails of whose fingers were buried in the flesh of her 
palms, was also brought to him by her parents. For 
weeks she had been in that condition; and though the 
physicians who had been consulted endeavoured to open 
lier hands, they tried in vain. * Allow me, my dear, said 
Father Mathew, in his winning voice; and taking her 
hand in his, and gently unlocking and extending her 
fingers he brought it into its natural form. This was a 
case of pure hysteria affecting the limbs, such as is fre- 
quently seen in hospitals." 68 

(38) Father Mathew 

(A Doctor's Testimony as to a number of Cases) 

"As a resident for months in my establishment, to 
which Father Mathew had come for the restoration of his 
health, I had ample opportunity of studying his character 
and habits; and well do I remember his unceasing labour 
in the cause of suffering humanity. The crowds that 
came daily from distant parts of the country to seek 
his aid were legion. . . * Several came to be cured 
of painful diseases; and I often witnessed great relief 
afforded &y him to feople suffering^ from various affrc- 
tion$> and in some cases I was satisfied that permanent 
good was effected by his administration. Such satisfac- 
tory results, on so large a scale too, made him the more 
earnest in his purpose, and gave the recipient unbounded 

02 John Francis Maguire, M.P., Father Mathew, 1864* p. 532. 
B3 Ibid,, p. 533. 


faith in his power ; and the result, from such a favourable 
combination of circumstances, could not be otherwise than 
beneficial to the patient. Father Mathew possessed in a 
large degree the power of animal magnetism, and I be- 
lieve that the paralytic affection from which he suffered 
and which brought his valuable life to an untimely end, 
was produced by an undue expenditure of this power. 
His nervous power was lowered by imparting his health 
and vigour to thousands." 54 


The following biographical notes need no further com- 
ment. 65 

(39) Dorothea Trudel 
(Her Life's Work) 

Dorothea Trudel was the eleventh child of a family liv- 
ing at Mannedorf in the Canton of Zurich. Her mother 
was a very excellent and pious woman, whose character 
is beautifully portrayed by her daughter in a little tract 
called Bine Mutter. The father was an unbeliever and 
a drinker, and the family were often in want Dorothea 
was always religious and moral in her habits, and not 
till she was twenty-two years of age did she begin to 
lead a deep spiritual life. She at first made a living by 
weaving silk but an uncle returning from Holland 
took her and three sisters to live with him on the mother's 
death, and arranged that Dorothea should learn flower- 
making which was more profitable, and less trying for 
the girl, who had curvature of the spine. When she was 
thirty-seven, four or five of her workers fell sick and the 
sickness resisted all treatment Dorothea's anxiety about 
her workpeople drove her to earnest prayer and consider- 
ation of the Scriptures. The passage in James v, 14 ' 15 

M This statement is signed by Dr. Barter, a Protestant, 
head of St. Anne's Hydropathic establishment, Blarney, ibid*, 
pp. 5^jo. 

e ^1?hey are condensed from Dorothea Trudel, A Christian 
Mother (Bine Mutter) Eng, tr.> 1865, and from Dorothea 
Trudel of the Prayer of Faith, London (Morgan and Chase), 


flashed upon her; she therefore knelt beside the bedside 
of the sick people, and prayed for them. They recov- 
ered; and the thought that had at first startled her be- 
came now the settled conviction of her life. A sickness 
broke out in the village and many recovered, in answer, 
it was believed, to her prayers. . 

At last yielding to the solicitations of friends, she was 
persuaded to receive persons into her house. By degrees 
the house grew into three, and her days were spent m 
.superintendence and constant prayer; patients came from 
France and Germany, and even Great Britain. In fact 
-a hospital was formed at Mannedorf. _ 

Scruples, however, were felt as to the propriety of a 
hospital without a physician A medical agitation was 
begun, the town council interfered, and finally the Gov- 
ernment sentenced Miss Trudel to pay a fine of one 
hundred francs and costs, on the plea that it was illegal 
to heal without a physician, and ordered the institution 
to be suppressed. Appeal was made. The case was car- 
ried from court to court, and in November, 1861, the judg- 
ments of the lower court were reversed, and Dorothea 
was allowed to go on in her old way. She did not, how- 
ever, live long after. Typhus fever broke out m Man- 
nedorf, the following autumn. Miss Trudel caught i 
and died on the 6th of September, 1862, at the age of 

A. y Mr. Zeller, son of the well-known founder of the 
Reformatory at Beuggen, co-operated with her, and was 
as fully convinced as she was that the prayer of faith 

shall save the sick. ,_.,,. , 

The only means used by Miss Trudel in her cures was 
the means of healing appointed in God s wont, viz., the 
imposition of hands with prayer and the anomtujg with 
oil Her custom was to read a chapter of the Bible to 
each patient and pray but by degrees as the numbers 
increased she gathered the patients around her and spoke 
to them collectively. The time not occupied by the Bible 
lesson, which was daily from three to four o'clock, was 
spent in nursing the sick. Poor patients she often fwl 
gratuitously; from the rich she took a small sum to jxiy 
for their board. . , 

During the trial of her case, many authenticated cases 
of healing were mentioned in court and hundreds of tes- 
timonials came from eminent men in Switzerland and 


Germany in her favour, and it was proved that she made 
use of no other means than prayer [with Unction and 
the laying-on of hands], though she forbade no one to 
use the prescriptions of a licensed physician. 

(40) Dorothea Trudel. 

(Some Examples) 
Among the authenticated cases are the following 

i. A stiff knee cured that had been treated in vain by 
physicians in France, Germany, and Switzerland. 

'2. An elderly man who could not walk, and had been 
given up by his doctors, but who soon dispensed with 

3. A man with a burned foot, which the surgeons said 
must be amputated or the patient would die. He also 
was cured. 

4. A man, who had been suffering from a disease in 
his bones for six months and had been for a long time 
in a Swiss hospital under medical treatment, sought re- 
lief from Dorothea. In a few weeks he completely re- 

5. The foreman of a manufactory was cured of a fierce 
attack of inflammation of the lungs. 

6. A lady whose knee had been severely injured by a 
fall, and was for weeks in agony, was healed by prayer 
and the laying on of Dorothea's hands in twenty-four 
hours. 00 


John Christopher Blumhardt was born at Stuttgart in 
1805 of pious working-class parents. He obtained a 
scholarship which enabled him to be maintained by the 
State as a theological student, and he helped to support 
his widowed mother out of the two florins a month al- 
lowed him as pocket-money; he graduated at Tubingen, 
then the centre of rationalism, and afterwards taught at 
the Missionary College in Basel He married in 1838, 
and became Pastor of Mottlingen, a Lutheran village in 

8( > Taken from Dorothea Trudcl, on the Prayer of Faith, 
1865, pp. 10, 53, S3- 


the Black Forest. Here occurred the exorcism of the two 
sisters Dittus, which caused an outburst of religious re- 
vivalism: numbers of people came for spiritual and for 
physical help, and the Pastor's house was besieged by ap- 
plicants. He lodged as many as he could, and then 
sought further guidance in prayer. A little way from 
Mottlingen were the well-known sulphur-springs of Boll ; 
here, in spacious grounds a sanatorium had been built, 
but it had failed. Blumhardt took it, and thus established 
his famous home in 1852. There he lodged from 100 to 
150 patients. u During my stay," says Zundel in his 
biography, "there were representatives from Norway, 
Holland, Denmark, Russia, France, Switzerland^ Prussia, 
Saxony, Baden, Bavaria, England, and America. All 
ranks were represented, from the highest to the lowest; 
at the same table would sit a Russian court lady and a 
Bavarian peasant." Students used to come also, and were 
freely lodged and boarded. In the midst of all was 
Blumhardt, " brimful of genial kindliness. 7 ' " Simplicity, 
freedom, and naturalness were the salient points in his 
character." 57 

" Blumhardt devoted much of his time to the mental 
and spiritual anxieties of troubled souls, either advising 
in personal interviews or by correspondence. As regards 
his cures, he made no profession of being able, even 
through prayer, to bring healing to all the physical 
maladies that came before him. But he had^a child-like 
confidence in the pity and love of the great Father to his 
tempted and suffering children. He was by no means 
against the employment of doctors or the use of medi- 
cines. With his experience of the diseases of humanity 
he appreciated the valuable services of clever doctors, 
and this appreciation was valued by many of the faculty, 
He objected strongly to the terms * healed by prayer ' and 
had a horror of the , idea that ' prayer would compel an 
answer from God, . . .' In many cases he regarded 
sickness and mental disease as contrary to the mind of 
the Lord. He made no scruple about saying that he 
looked for no cure ivhile there was no believing contact 
of the spirit with God, He possessed a keenness of spir- 
itual insight that judged, with rarely mistaken accuracy, 

07 F. Zundel, Pfarrer /. C. Blumhardt, Bin Lcbensbild, 
Zurich, 1880, p. 4i& 


whether the removal or continuance of disease would be 
in accord with the will of God. He held that this dis- 
cerning faculty was a " charisma," a gift of God, be- 
stowed on him as were gifts in apostolic times. He 
carefully guarded all persons from any impression that it 
was merely by laying-on of hands, or by any physical 
exertion that cures came. ' My remedy/ he invariably 
said, ' is simply prayer/ He taught that the spirit's 
health is more important than that of the body, and so 
he tried to lead all visitors to Bad-Boll into real com- 
munion, by penitence and faith, with the Lord." GS 

Blumhardt was in fact a saint who kept a sanatorium. 
One cannot but wish that other saints would accept the 
same vocation, and would establish beautiful homes in 
the country with a like combination of common-sense and 
disinterested piety. His great powers only seem excep- 
tional because so few physicians of the soul have adopted 
his simple means of succouring great numbers of people 
under one roof, where people learned to love God and 
one another, and where, amid a gracious atmosphere of 
prayer and teaching, the solace of a garden, and even of 
the daily papers, was not forgotten. 

From 1852 till the Pastor T s death in 1880, the cures 
went steadily on. Many, of course, were such as any 
doctor would expect; but some were of an exceptional 
nature. The first, which led to Blumhardt' s fame as a 
healer, is a strange case of exorcism. We will not dis- 
cuss the hypothesis of hysteria; but, as in former cases, 
will be content to print the record as it stands 

(41) Pastor Blumhardt 
(1843. The Exorcism of Gottlicbin and Katharina Dittus) 

" Gottliebin and Katharina Dittus, two sisters in Mot- 
tlingen, were strangely and unaccountably affected. They 
seemed to be haitnted by^ extraordinary apparitions and 
noises of all kinds; particularly, knocks and calls were 
heard about the house where they lived, especially in 
Gottlicbtn's room. A rigid examination was made of the 
house, but nothing was discovered which could account 

88 Ziindel, Op. cit, f p. 432, 


for the extraordinary manifestations. For two years 
Biumhardt had these sisters in his mind and prayed 
earnestly for them. Katharina at last recovered, but 
Gottliebin's symptoms became terrible. Several strong 
men were obliged to hold her in a chair, and even their 
efforts were unavailing to control the frightful convul- 
sions and contortions which racked her body. Through 
an entire night this continued, Biumhardt praying un- 
ceasingly and with rising faith. An unnatural voice, not 
her own, spoke from the poor woman's throat and strove 
to engage the pastor in argument; but he steadily prayed 
on. The voice distinctly proclaimed its Satanic origin 
and at intervals gave utterance to a horrible cry of 
despair and fear, while Katharina's body trembled vio- 
lently. A defiant spirit mingled with these utterances 
of fear; and the daemon's voice demanded that as he 
was a high minister of Satan, Christ should not compel 
him to leave the woman in the ordinary way but should 
cast him out with some wonderful miracle. Still, the 
pastor prayed on, and towards morning the struggle cul- 
minated: the daemon was vanquished and cried out, with 
a great and terrible cry that was heard throughout the 
village, 'Jesus is Victor! Jesus is Victor!' When the 
sun rose, the woman was whole. She afterwards mar- 
ried, and laboured with the pastor for the souls and bodies 
of the hundreds who came to Bad-Boll ^ and now upon 
her tombstone are the words 'Jews ist SicgcrS Jf (ll> 

(42) Pastor Biumhardt 
(1844: Cure of Maria Magdalen Rapp) 

" Maria Magdalen Rapp, of Engthal, near Wildbad, 
aged 35, was admitted to the clinic of Tubingen in March, 
1844, 'suffering from pemphigus or vesicular eruption. 
Many remedies were tried, the eruption disappearing for 
some days, to break out again in different parts of the 
body, With the employment of arsenic the eruption com- 
pletely disappeared and the patient was entirely free for 
some days, but in the winter of 1844 she was seized with 
huematemesis and violent gastric pains. Owmg 1 to chronic 
gastritis she could take no warm food. The attacks of 

, Op. cit., pp. 106-138, 


hsetnatemesis occurred regularly every three or four weeks, 
and the patient was several times at death's door in con- 
sequence. The eruption also reappeared as badly as ever. 
In July, 1845, she was discharged as incurable, in accord- 
ance with the verdict of all the physicians who had been 
observing her case, and as a last hope was sent for a 
few wecivs to Wildbad, but without the slightest effect. 
Up to December her condition remained the same, arid 
then the patient came to seek help from Pastor Blum- 
hardt. Immediately after her first visit she felt her- 
self considerably relieved, and in three months' time, 
after several visits to Mr. Blumhardt, all symptoms of 
her illness completely disappeared, and the undersigned, 
to his great astonishment, found the patient in perfect 
health in May, 1846, where he saw her leaving the church 
in Mottlingen. The particulars of the case may be 
found in the clinical department of the Tubingen School 
of Medicine; and the patient, after such continued unsuc- 
cessful treatment there, must be looked upon as having 
been incurable. The truth of the above is hereby cer- 

"Mottlingen, May 24th, 1846. 

" K. STEINKOPF, Med. Cand. " 60 

(43) Pastor Blumhardt 
(Cure of an Unbelieving Workman) 

" An operative, living about three miles from Elberfeld, 
was suffering from a disagreeable skin-complaint, a sort 
of leprosy, from his description. After giving up all 
hopes of a cure, he was told that a famous pastor, whose 
prayers and intercessions had brought deliverance to 
many from their diseases, was coming to Elberfeld for a 
festival ; and the man, who generally itad little respect for 
4 godly ' people, determined to walk to Elberfeld. He 
came across the pastor, just as Blumhardt was putting 
on his robes before preaching in the church. The man's 
disease was one of those which had for long weighed 
upon Blumhardt's compassion, and he recognized the 
symptoms at once; for scarcely had the man begun to 

^Dr. Stcinkopf came to Mottlingen with the avowed ab- 
ject of enquiring into the cures. Ziindcl, Op, cit, f p, 208. 


describe his sickness, when Blumhardt said, ' My friend, 
you see I have very little time, and I can see how 
wretched you are; go into the church now, and be very 
attentive, and may the Saviour help you/ The man 
could scarcely control his indignation and fury at this 
rebuff. He murmured to himself, ' There's your merciful 
Blumhardt! there are your pious people! I'm to go to 
church, am I ? * However, he resolved to go in, hoping 
the pastor might say something for his guidance in the 
sermon. Blumhardt preached on the text: 'Ask, and 
it shall be given you/ The man was quite unconscious 
how much Blumhardt's words impressed him; he still 
kept on murmuring to himself: * He does not talk of 
me or for me/ and half in admiration, half in anger, he 
left the church and the town after the service, and be- 
gan his walk home. ' These pious people/ * this compas- 
sion/ reiterated themselves in his mind, though joined 
now with many of the words of the sermon. But soon 
these conflicting thoughts were mingled with a new sen- 
sation: he began to experience a peculiar feeling in his 
skin, which seemed to start and spread from certain 
spots ; and the feeling waxed stronger and stronger with 
the thought, ' Am I being healed ? ' full of excitement, 
he hurried home, demanded a light, went alone into his 
bedroom, and saw that the healing had begun. ^(Blum- 
hardt says that the process took a fortnight.) The man 
waited till he was quite sure of the result, and then hur- 
ried to Elberfeld, to send word to Blumhardt, through 
some friends of the latter, of the joyful news/ 1 01 


We will conclude these historical instances by printing 
some cures wrought by a saintly man but lately gone 
from us, whose name will also illustrate the fact that 
works of healing have always abounded in the Orthodox 
Church of the East Father John's reputation for sanc- 
tity in Russia is well known: he was so beset by the 
crowds who thronged him for his healing power that he 
often had to escape by side-doors after celebrating the 
Holy Communion, 

61 Zimdel, Op, cit., pp. 437~& 


(44) Father John of Cronstadt 
(His Own Account of a Cure) 

" A certain person who was sick unto death from in- 
flammation of the bowels for nine days, without having 
obtained the slightest relief from medical aid, as soon as 
he had communicated of the Holy Sacrament, upon the 
morning of the ninth day, regained his health and rose 
from his bed of sickness in the evening of the same day. 
He received the Holy Communion with firm faith, I 
prayed to the Lord to cure him. 'Lord/ said I, 'heal 
thy servant of his sickness. He is worthy, therefore 
grant him this. He loves thy priests and sends them 
his gifts/ I also prayed for him in church before the 
altar of the Lord, at the Liturgy, during the prayer: 
'Thou who hast given us grace at this time, with one 
accord to make our common supplication unto thee/ and 
before the most Holy Mysteries themselves, I prayed in 
the following words : ' Lord, our life ! It is as easy for 
thee to cure every malady as it is for me to think of heal- 
ing. It is as easy for thee to raise every man from the 
dead as it is for me to think of the possibility of the 
resurrection from the dead. Cure, then, thy servant Basil 
of his cruel malady, and do not let him die; do not let 
his wife and children be given up to weeping/ And 
the Lord graciously heard, and had mercy upon him, al- 
though he was within a hair's breadth of death. Glory 
to thine omnipotence and mercy, that thou, Lord, hast 
vouchsafed to hear me 1 ' " e2 

(45) Father John of Cronstadt 
(Prayer at a Distance) 

" In October, 1889, in Moscow, in the family of a cer- 
tain Mr. S ff, two children fell ill of diphtheria. Not- 
withstanding the measures at once taken, the illness de- 
veloped rapidly and increased. A consultation of doctors 
was held, and it was decided to resort to tracheotomy. 
One can imagine the despair of the children's parents. 
Having lost hope in human aid, they sent a telegram to 

Father John, My Life in Christ, translated by E, E, 
Goulasff (Cassdl), 1897, p. 201, 


Father John of Cronstadt, begging for his prayers. The 
Reverend Father received this telegram in the morning, 
at the time when he was performing the early Liturgy, 
and, as he usually does, immediately after reading the 
telegram, he addressed his earnest prayer to God. Mean- 
while, what was taking place in Moscow? It had been 
decided to perform the operation of tracheotomy at two 
o'clock on that day, but already at nine o'clock a. m. 
(at the very time of Father John's prayers in Cronstadt, 
some 500 miles away) the doctor who remained on duty 
noticed an improvement, which progressed as rapidly as 
the illness had previously developed. The doctors, hav- 
ing assembled at the appointed time of two o'clock p. m. 7 
found such certain improvement in the condition of the 
children that the operation was pronounced unnecessary. 
In three to four days both children completely re- 
covered." 63 

C3 Father John, My Life in Christ, quoted in translator's 
preface, p. ix. 



IN this Appendix we will reprint lists of cures and fail- 
ures from trustworthy sources, representing simple Sug- 
gestion (Dr. Parkyn) Hypnotism (Drs. Van Rhen- 
terghem and Bernheim), " Mental Science" (per Mr. 
Goddard), Faith Healing (Lourdes). 


Tile value of mental treatment in certain nervous dis- 
orders is universally acknowledged. Let us begin, there- 
fore, with the report of Dr. Parkyn, who treated Nervous 
Prostration only. Here is a list of sixteen consecutive 
cases treated by suggestion at the Chicago School of 
Psychology, without a failure: 1 







K, D. W. 


20 years. 

12 pounds 

I month 


L. M. 

2 3 

8 ' 

14 " 

I " 


C. T. 



9 " 

3 weeks 


F. B, T. 



12 " 

6 " 


W. M. 




i month 


Miss M. B. 



12 " 

i " 

" M. C 

2 3 



i " 

" W. N. 



8 ' 


" H, 


i ye r 

14 ' 

2 months 

Mrs. S. 


2 years 

7 ' 

I month 

" G. 



10 ' 

2 months 

< w, 



18 ' 

I month 

J. C. N, 



7 ' 


D. R, G, a 



23 < 

I w 




X 5 4 

2 months 


I\ T. C, 




i month 

1 Herbert A, Parkyn, M.D., Suggestion an Infallible Cure 
for Nervous Prostration: Qit H. H, Goddard, American 
Journal of Psychology, X, No. 3 (April, 1899), p, 474- 

Gained 12 ibs. first week of treatment. 



He states that he treated 178 patients by hypnotism. 
Of these he failed to hypnotise 7. He treated 162: of 
these, 91 were cured, 46 improved, and 25 not improved. 
There were 37 diseases represented: here is a tabulation 
of a part of them: 3 





Not cured. 

Rheumatic pains 





Various Hysterical attacks 





Various Neuralgias 





Indigestion, etc. 











The following list of cases treated by Hypnotism from 
the records of the eminent authority, Bernheim, is re- 
printed from Suggestive Therapeutics;* 

A, Organic Diseases of the Nervous System. 



Cerebral hemorrhage, hemiplegia, hemi- 

ansesthesia with tremor and con- 

Cerebro-spinal disease : apoplectiform 

attacks, paralysis, ulnar neuritis. 
Partial left hemiplegia. 
Traumatic epilepsy with traumatic 


Sensory organic hemianaesthesia. 
Diffuse rheumatic myelitis, 
Cerebro-spinal insular sclerosis. 

Nervous troubles (organic cause?) in 
the brachial plexus. 

Paresis of traumatic origin of the 

muscles of the hand. 
Paresis of the extensors^of the hand 

and saturnine anaesthesia. j 




Marked improve- 
ment for six 

Temporary suppres- 
sion of the symp- 
tom, No cure. 


3 Van Rhenterghcm, Psycho-Thtr&pic, from Goddard, Op. 
*> P- 473- 
* Suggestive Therapeutics, pp. 404-407. (De la Suggestion* 


B. Hysterical Diseases. 17. 


Hystero-epilepsy in a man, sensitivo- 
sensorial hemiansesthesia. 
Hysteria, sensitivo-sensorial anaesthesia. 

Hemiplegia with left sensitivo-sen- 
sorial hemianaesthesia. 

Hysterical sensitivo-sensorial hemian- 

Hysteriform paroxysms with hysterical 

Anaesthesia. Hysterical spinal pain. 

Paralysis with hysterical anaesthesia. 

Convulsive hysteria with 

Hysteria. Paroxysms of convulsive 
weeping, ^ i 

Convulsive hysteria. 

Convulsive hysteria with 

Convulsive hysteria. ! 

Convulsive hysteria with ! 


Convulsive hysteria with 

Hysteria with hemiansesthesia. 

Hysteria in the male; weeping, con- 
vulsion, paroxysms. 

Hysterical aphonia. ; 


Transient suppres- 
sion of the symp- 
toms. No cure. 


Cure, at least 

C, Neuropathic Affections, 18. 



Nervous aphonia. 

Moral inertia and subjective sensations 

m the head. 
Nervous aphonia. 
Post-epileptic tremor, cephalaegia and 


Nervous gastric troubles. Anaesthesia. 
Neuropathic pains* 
Epigastric pains. 

Neuropathic lumbar pains. Insomnia. 
Paresis with sense of weight in right 

Pains in right leg* 

et de ses applications a la Thtrctpeutique, par le Dr. Bern- 
heim, Professor i la Facult^ dc Medecine de Nancy, 1886, 
and x89*. Tr. A. Herter, 1890.) 









Girdle pain and pain in right groin, 
with difficulty in walking for twenty 

Insomnia. Loss of appetite, mental 
depression, tremor. 

Gloomy ideas. Insomnia loss of ap- 

Insomnia through habit. 

Cephalaegia, intellectual obnubilation. 

Vertigo, moral depression connected 
with cardiac disease. 

Laziness, disobedience, and loss of ap- 
petite in child. 

Pseudo-paraplegia with tremor. i 



Partial cure. 

D. Various Neurosis. 15. 


Choreic movements consecutive to 




Choreic movements consecutive to 




Choreic movements from moral 




Post choreic tremor in hand. 



Post choreic trouble in writing. 



Choreic movements in hands. 




Rapid improvement, 


gradual cure. 


General chorea. 

Gradual cure. 


General chorea, 



Obstinate writers' cramp. 

Rapid improvement, 

gradual cure. 


Attacks of tetany, nocturnal 




Nocturnal somnambulism. 

Temporary cure. 


Nocturnal incontinence of urine. 



Nocturnal incontinence of urine. 



Nocturnal aphonia consecutive to 






E. Dynamic Paresis and 
Paralysis. 3. 

Sense of weight with paresis of left 


Dynamic psychic paraplegia. 
Pains and paresis of lower limbs. 



F. Gastro-intestinal Affections. 4. 

Alcoholic gastritis with insomnia and 

weak legs. 
Chronic gastritis. Dilatation of the 

stomach and vomiting. 
Gastric troubles. Burning sensation 

over sternum. Insomnia. 
Gastro-intestinal catarrh. Metritis. 





G. Various Painful Affections. 12. 

Epigastric pain. Cure. 

Umbilical and epigastric pain. 

Interscapular pain. 

Thoracic pain. Insomnia, (Tubercu- 
lar diathesis), 

Hypogastric and supra-inguinal pains 
on left, connected with old pelvic 

Intercostal pain. Gradual cure. 

Thoracic pain. ^ m Cure. 

Painful contusions of the deltoid. 

Muscular pain in flank. 

Painful spot in side. 

Pains in the epitrochlear muscles, 

Pains in shoulder and upper right limb 
from effort. 

H. Rheumatic Affections. 19. 

Rheumatic paralysis of right fore arm, 

Rheumatic scapulo-humeral arthritis. 
Muscular rheumatism, with cramp. 
Ilio-lumbar rheumatic neuralgia. 
Arthralgia consecutive to arthritis. 
Pleurodynia and lumbar pain helped by 


Apyrctic articular rheumatism. 
Chronic articular rheumatism. 
Muscular, articular and nervous 

Acrotwo-clavicular and xiphoid 

rheumatic pains. 


without cure. 


Gradual cure. 

Gradual cure. 



Wo. Disease. 

go Muscular lumbp-crural rheumatism 
with sacro-sciatic neuralgia. 

91 Apyretic articular rheumatism. 

92 Acromio-clavicular rheumatic pains. 

93 Muscular rheumatism, arm and leg. 

94 Gonorrheal rheumatism. 

95 Acromio-clavicular ^and xiphoid 

articular rheumatism. 

96 Rheumatic articular pains. 

97 Dorsal and metacarpal-phalahgeal 

rheumatic pains. 
Rheumatic dor so-lumbar, and sciatic 




Rapid improvement, 
almost total cure. 
Gradual cure. 



Gradual cure. 

/. Neuralgias. 5. 

09 Rebellious sciatica. 

100 Recent sciatica helped by one 


101 Rebellious sciatica. 

102 Rebellious sciatica. f 

103 Trigeminal neuralgia with facial 


Gradual cure. 
Almost complete 


The authorities of "Christian Science" do not allow 
scientific evidence to be collected, and we, therefore, can 
only say that no doubt cures are affected by their meth- 
ods as by others. But on the other hand, some " Mental 
Science" healers have kept accurate records. Here is 
one record from a Mental Science Home in America, 
which is vouched for by Mr. Goddard. s "This institu- 
tion is under broad-minded and philanthropic managers 
who believe that some people are cured by this method 
The healer in charge is an intelligent man . . . full 
of the true scientific spirit" " The following statements 
are clear and concise; accurate as far as the healer is 
concerned. Doubtless many of them are the patient's 
own version of the case, while many are the diagnoses 
of prominent doctors of medicine." 5 No cases were re- 
fused. Of these cases less than half arc pronounced 
cured, less than half again improved, and 15 per cent were 
not benefited. 

5 Henry H. Goddard, The American Journal of 
X, No, 3 (April, 1809), p. 468, 


Miss C. 

Miss R. 
Miss B. 

Miss F. 
Miss S. 
Miss C. 

Miss A. 
Miss L. 

Miss F. 

Mrs. B. 
Mrs. M, 

Miss K. 

Miss B. 
Mrs. C. 

Mrs, T. 
Miss F. 

Miss K. 

Miss C. 
Miss C. 


Spinal trouble, epilepsy, prolapsus 
of uterus, and malarial chills. 

Nervous prostration, neuralgia, 
epilepsy, and impoverished blood. 

Nervous dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, 
painful menstruation, sleepless- 


Scrofula bunches. 6 

Sciatica, neuralgia, severe head- 
aches and nervous prostration. 

Congested brain and spinal trouble. 

Cough resulting from pneumonia, 
nervous debility and depression. 

General debility, mental depres- 
sion and eyesight impaired from 
inflammation resulting from a 
surgical operation. 

Stones in the bladder. 

Rheumatism, uterine trouble, 
indigestion and catarrh. 

Spinal trouble, and a growth in 

Uterine tumor, and in too weak- 
ened a condition to admit of an 
operation. Four years could 
not speak aloud, and two years 
could not even whisper. , . . 

Kidney trouble and nervous 

Hysterical, causing spasmodic con- 
traction in the throat muscles, 
preventing her swallowing liquid 
foods with safety. 

Mental and physical troubles. 

Impaired eyesight, had worn 
glasses sixteen years, and could 
not depend on her eyes even 
with these. 


Nervous ^ prostration, dyspepsia, 
and painful menstruation. 

Eruption on face and chest, from 
chicken-pox five years previously. 


Not much 




Greatly benefited. 
Great improve- 


A complete cure. 

Fully restored. 

She left off 
glasses and her 
eyes were cured. 

Improved for a 
few weeks then 
grew worse. 


A11 the words hi this Appendix are printed exactly as 
they are given in the originals. 



Miss W, 
Miss W. 

Mrs. L. 

Miss B. 

Miss S. 
Miss H. 

Miss T. 

Miss S. 
Mr. A. 

Mrs. D. 
Mrs. D. 

Miss F. 

Mrs. P, 


Locomotor ataxia. 

Overwork, back strained by lift- 
ing, was unable to sit or stand 
without great suffering. 

(a) Depression, (b) Constipation. 

Displacement and inflammation of 


Advanced Bright's disease. 
Neurasthenia with hysterical 

symptoms; was never well. 
Severe headaches from sunstroke. 

Nervousness and headaches. 
Mental trouble, unfitting for 
business five years. 
Uterine trouble, hysteria and 

severe depression. 
Catarrh of bowels. Rigid diet 

five years: had spasms from 

changing diet and was unable 

to leave room. 
Creeping paralysis. 

Paralysis of right side. 

Mrs. S. Nervous prostration. 

Miss S. An overworked teacher. 

Mrs. P. A humor, 7 said to be incurable, 

uterine trouble and life-long 

Miss B. Mental trouble and lack of will- 

Miss R. Paralysis or locomotor ataxia. 
Miss S. Ovarian trouble, ulceration of 

stomach and bowels, liver in an 

atrophied condition. 
MissH. Uterine trouble, dyspepsia and 

general weakness. 
Miss B. Dyspepsia and hysteria, 
Mrs. F. Severe case of constipation, 

uterine trouble and mild form 

of insanity. 
Mrs. S. Uterine trouble, constipation, ami 

nervous prostration 
7 See note on p. 407, 

Not benefited. 


(a) Little im- 
provement. (&) 
Fully regained 


Change for better. 
Very much im- 

Greatly improved. 

Is well. 
Eats any reason- 
able food and 


Stronger, but the 

trembling not 

Very little 


Rested and strong. 


Gained strength* 


Cured of the* first, 

xtnich improved in 

second, ami U*ft 

us very 
Very much 



Mrs. H. 

Miss D. 
Miss B. 

Miss H. 

Mrs. P. 
Mrs. R. 

Miss C. 
Mrs. S. 

Mrs. L. 

Miss G. 

Mrs, C. 
Miss C. 

Mrs. G. 

Miss C. 
Mrs. H. 
Mrs. W. 
Miss IL 


As severe a case of depression 
as we ever had, and nervous 

Nervous prostration. 

Uterine trouble and a nervous 

Uterine trouble, constipation, 
depression, painful menstrua- 
tions, and nervous prostration, 
an invalid from childhood. 


Heart trouble and dyspepsia. 


Heart trouble, dyspepsia, and 

nerves in wretched condition. 
A tired and nervous teacher. 

Painful menstruation. 

Polypus tumor in nose, and very 

Chronic hay-fever. 

Heart trouble, rheumatism, and 


Hysteria and insomnia. 
Malaria and a cough, result of 

whooping cough. 
Over study. 

Heart trouble ten years. 

Ovarian trouble and addicted to 
morphine habit 

Spinal trouble, ovarian trouble 
with adhesions, inflammation 
throughout the abdominal re- 
gion, enlarged and displaced 
uterus, rectal abscess, throat 
trouble, weak lungs, bivalvular 
affection of the heart, trouble 
with head and eyes, glasses for 
five years, abscesses for^ six 
years from belladonna poison- 
wpf, extreme sensitiveness of 
nerves and much numbness 
from same cause. , . . 

The cloud was 
lifted, and she is 
bright and well. 

Much benefited. 

Greatly benefited. 
Not much 

Not successful. 

[Result omitted.] 
Was ready for 

work when she 

left us. 
Greatly relieved. 

Greatly helped. 
Permanently much 



Left well and 

Some improve- 


Glasses given up 

and cyc\s woll. 
A complete cure. 





Mrs. B. 

Heart trouble and nervous debility. 

Much improved. 

Miss R. 

Difficulty in walking doubtless 
locomotor ataxia. 



Indigestion, uterine trouble, 

Not ready for this 



Rev. S. 

Stiff knee and spinal trouble from 

Gained in strength, 

fall thirteen years ago. Weak 

but lameness not 

and lack of endurance. 


Miss S, 

Nervous prostration. 
Extreme depression. 

Great gain. 
Not satisfactory. 


Fibroid uterine tumor, and so 

No change in the 

depressed that she took very 

physical trouble, 

little interest in anything. 

but the great 

mental burden 

was lifted and 

she gained 



Retroversion and inflammation of 

the uterus, and in such a serious 

condition that the physicians 

said she must undergo a surgical 

operation. This trouble of 

twenty years' standing, and 

dyspepsia of three years. 


Mrs. B. 

(0) Constipation. O) Palpitation 

(b) Greatly im- 

of heart, insomnia and general 

proved. {) 


C o n s t i p ation 


Miss C. 

Consumption and general 


Gained strength, 


This ff Table of Cures and Improvements classified cc~ 
cording to Diseases" deals only with successes, and there 
is no record of the large numbers of people who go away 
each year unbenefited. This table, translated from Dr. 
Bertrin, covers all the cures and improvements from Feb- 
ruary, 1858, to September ist, 1904, 8 

/. Diseases of the Digestive System and its Appendages, 

Cwrtf* or 


Cim;s or 

Gastralgia , , , . 31 

Circular ulcer of the 

stomach * , , 7*; 

Dyspepsia ....,,, 48 

Cancer in the stomach * . 6 
8 Georges Bertrin, Lourdcs, Apparitions ft GuMfanf, 1905 ; 
Appendix, pp. 461-3, 

Dysphagia 2 

Pharyngitis I 

CEsopJhagitis 3 

Gastritis So 



Cures or 

Disease, Improve- 


Dilation of the stomach. 7 

Intractable vomiting 10 

Enteritis 47 

Appendicitis 3 

Abnormal anus i 

Intestinal perforation... 2 

Hernia 23 

Peritonitis 20 

Cures or 

Disease. Improve- 


Meteorism 4 

Ascites 12 

Abscess in the stomach. 4 

Cirrhosis 2 

Abscess of the liver i 

Cyst in the liver i 

Diseases of the liver 10 

Cancer on the liver . . . , , I 

//. Disorders of the Circulation. 

Deficient aorta 5 

Arterio-sclerosis 3 

Disorders of the heart. . 35 

Varicose veins 7 

Phlebitis 17 

Syncope i 

Cancer in the heart i 

///. Disorders of the Respiratory Organs. 

Bronchitis 52 

Emphysema of the lungs i 

Congestion of the lungs. 6 

Pneumonia 6 

Pleurisy 5 

Asthma 9 

Pulmonaires' lesions 4 

Laryngitis 16 

IV. Disorders of the Urinary Organs. 

Hydroncphrosis I 

Uraemia and bleeding 2 

Albuminuria 5 

Anuria I 

Cystitis ii 

Acute nephritis ,.,...,.. 12 

Bright 7 s disease 3 

Floating kidney. ........ i 

Renal calculus 4 

Incontinence of urine. ... i 

J/V-. Disorders of the Spinal Cord (medulla). 

Little's disease 2 I Acute myelitis 72 

Tabes 19 1 Multiple sclerosis 2 

VL Diseases of the Brain, 

Aphasia 55 

Congestion of the brain. 5 

Deaf-mutes 21 

Acute meningitis 7 

Piicihymeiringitis ....... i 

Hemierania i 

Cephategia . . . 7 

Neuritis ,,...., 5 

Cerebral hemorrhage 

(apoplexy) 2 

Defective articulation... 6 

Paralysis 217 

Paraplegia 34 

Paresis 22 


'. Affections of the Bones. 

Cures or Cures or 

Disease. Improve- Disease. Improve- 
ment, ment. 

Carles of the bones 24 

Osteitis 31 

Necrosis I 

Pseudo-arthrosis i 

Fractures or result of 

fractures 10 


Posterior curvature 

the spine , I 

Lateral curvature of the 

spine 3 

Deviation of the vertebral 

column 22 

Perforation I 

Caries of the vertebral 

column 2 

VIII. Affections of the Joints. 

Synoyitis 4 

Sprains 9 

Genu valgum 4 

Club-foot 5 

Arthritis 103 

Hydrarthrosis 2 

Loosening of the joints 

of the pelvis i 

IX. Diseases of the Eyes. 

Conjunctivitis 8 Doubtful diseases 44 

Inflammation of the cor- Blepharitis 2 

nea . . 5 Inflammation of eyelids . 2 

"Atrophie papillaire " . . . 8 Detachment of the retina 2 

Blindness 34 

X. Diseases of the Ear. 

Inflammation 3 Deafness * 24 

Discharge from the ear. 2 

XL-*- Diseases of the Nasal Cavities, 
Sinuses I 

XIL-~~ Diseases of the Skin, 

Eczema .,.., 15 Herpetic purpura ,., i 

Pemphigus 2 Ecthyma ....,...,,. i 

Eruptions , 5 Icthyosss and leprosy* , . , 3 

Burns I Elephantiasis . . . 3 

XII L Diseases of the Uterus and Appendages* 

Fibroma t 10 Uterine hemorrhage. . 3 

Salpyngitis 6 Prolapsus uteri . * * 3 

Cyst on the ovary i Uterine carcinoma . i 

Metritis - - , 12 Marnmitis * , I 

Ovaritis , . 8 



XIV. Tuberculosis. 


Tuberculosis, pulmonary. 262 

Tuberculosis, intestinal.. 33 

White tumour 35 

Disease of hip-joint 124 

Lupus 15 

Cures or Cures or 

Improve- Disease. Improve- 

ment, ment. 

Pott's disease 62 

Tuberculosis of bones... 17 

Cerebral adenitis 6 

Fistulas 16 

" Spina ventosa " i 

Cholera i 

Diphtheria 2 

XV. Acute Diseases. 

Croup , 

Tetanus . . . 

XV L Tumours. 

Tumours (peripheral) . . . 

Tumours in the hip 

Tumours uterine 

Tumours of the bone: 

(cancer) 2 

Tumours abdominal 24 

XVI /. Foreign Bodies. 
Needle in the finger i 

XVIIL Nervous Diseases. 

Neuralgia 49 

Sciatica 13 

Epilepsy 9 

Hysteria * 43 

St. Vitus' dance n 

Exophthalmic goitre 3 

Neurasthenia 48 

Hallucination i 


Catalepsy f . . . 3 

. Ordinary Diseases and Others, 

Rheumatism 107 

Cachexia 4 

Bite from viper r 

GaugTene of the extrem- 
ities i 

Rickets 8 

Various diseases 22 

Lameness n 

General weakness 12 

Phlegmon .,,..,.. 3 

Multiple sclerosis. i 

Continual perspiration* ., i 

Morphinomama ..,,,, i 

Cancers ,.. 15 

Anaemia , , 1 1 

Wounds 27 

Syphilis i 

Fever 6 

Abdominal complaints.,, n 

Hemorrhage 8 

Influenza i 

Wry-neck 3 

Contraction 12 

Muscular atrophy ... 8 

Ankylosis 15 

CEdema 2 

Dumbness - , * 7 



"[The priest may -first say 

" Is any among you sick ? let him call for the elders 
o the church ; and let them pray over him, anointing him 
with oil in the Name of the Lord; and the prayer of 
faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise 
him up.] 

["Confession and Absolution, from the Communion 

" Let us pray. 

"Lord, have mercy. 
"Christ, have mercy. 
"Lord, have mercy. 
" Our Father. 

V, O Lord, save thy servant 

R. Who putteth his trust in thee. 

V. Send him help from thy holy place. 

R. And evermore mightily defend him* 

V. Help us, O God of our salvation. 

R. And for the glory of thy Name deliver us, and 
be merciful to us sinners, for thy Name's sake. 

1 The two services which follow are published in full by 
Mowbrays, 34 Great Castle St., London, W. Price 3d. 


FORMS 415 

" V. Lord, hear our prayer. 

" R. And let our cry come unto thee. 

"Let us pray. 

"O Almighty God, 2 who art the giver of all health, 
and the aid of them that seek to thee for succour, we 
call upon thee for thy help and goodness mercifully to 
be showed upon this thy servant, that he being he.aled 
of his Infirmities, may give thanks unto thee in thy holy 
Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

"Silent Prayer. 

ff [Then, if the oil be not already blessed, the following 
Consecration may be used 

" O Almighty Lord God, who hast taught us by thy 
holy Apostle Saint James to anoint the sick with oil, 
that they may attain their bodily health, and render 
thanks unto thee for the same; look down, we beseech 
thee, and bless and sanctify this thy creature of oil, the 
juice of the olive: Grant, that those who shall be anointed 
therewith, may be delivered from all pains, troubles, and 
diseases both of the body and mind, and from all the 
snares, temptations, and assaults of the powers of dark- 
ness, through our Lord Jesus Christ thy son; who with 
thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever one 
God, world without end. Amen,"] 

"f Then shall the Priest anoint the sick Person upon 
the forehead, making the sign of the Cross f and saying: 

" As with this visible oil thy body outwardly is 
anointed: so our heavenly Father, almighty God, grant 
of his infinite goodness that thy soul inwardly may be 
anointed with the Holy Ghost, who is the Spirit of all 
strength, comfort, relief, and gladness. And vouchsafe 
for his great mercy (if it be his blessed will) to restore 
unto thee thy bodily health, and strength, to serve him; 
and send thee release of all thy pains, troubles, and 
diseases, both in body and mind. And howsoever his 
goodness (by his divine and unsearchable providence) 

3 A moment's pause of recollection may be made here, and 
after the invocation of God in the other prayers. 


shall dispose of thee: we his unworthy ministers and 
servants, humbly beseech the eternal majesty to do with 
thee according to the multitude of his innumerable mer- 
cies- who also vouchsafe mercifully to grant unto thee 
ghostly strength, by his holy Spirit, to withstand and 
overcome all temptations and assaults of thine adversary, 
that in no wise he prevail against thee, but that them 
mayest have perfect victory and triumph against the 
devil, sin, and death, through Christ our Lord: who by 
his death hath overcome the Prince of death, and with 
the Father and the Holy Ghost evermore livetli and 
reigneth, God, world without end. Arnen. 


" Psalm 23. ' The Lord is my shepherd.' . . . 
Ant. O Saviour of the world. . . 

"The Almighty Lord, who is a most strong tower to 
all them that put their trust in him, to whom all things 
in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, do bow and obey, 
be now and evermore thy defence; and make thee know 
and feel, that there is none other Name under heaven 
given to 'man, in whom, and through whom, thou mayest 
receive health and salvation, but only the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ Amen. 

" Unto God's gracious mercy and protection we commit 
thee. The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord 
make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto 
thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and 
give" thee peace, both now and for evermore. Amen, 

" Silent Prayer " 

(From the Treasury, September, 1908.) 

"A small table is prepared in the sick room, with a 
white cloth upon it, and a lighted candle. In fact^the 
preparation is as for a sick Communion, only that a little 
piece of cotton rag is placed on a saucer on thc^ table : 
the priest also might wear his surplice and stole if con- 
venient; but we shall be wise to avoid tying ourselves 
down in small matters, since external things are useful 

FORMS 417 

only in^so far as they subserve to seemliness, reverence, 
and quiet prayerfulness. It is generally a good thing 
for the priest to have a few minutes' private talk with 
the sick person before the Unction (assuming that the 
patient's condition permits of this), when he might 
explain that the rite will strengthen and refresh the 
soul and that this inward strengthening will have a good 
effect upon the body, making for health so far as the 
physical conditions are capable of change. This time 
might also be the occasion for the patient to unburden 
himself of any sins upon his conscience and receive 
Absolution, as is directed in the Prayer Book service 
for Visitation of the Sick. But of course that could 
only be if he expressly wished it: this is not the occasion 
for ' moving J the sick man ; and nothing would be said 
about any special act unless he had beforehand asked 
for it and his condition allowed of it. Otherwise the 
General Confession and Absolution from the Communion 
service would be used either now, or after the little 

"The sick man, then, being in readiness, with any 
friends whom he may desire in the room, the priest 
enters, carrying (or the clerk carrying before him) a 
small silver 'stock/ or a glass-stoppered vessel, contain- 
ing a very little oil. This he places on the table; then 
standing by the table, he may read the Lesson from St 

** [The passages in brackets are for use when it is 
desired to have a rather longer service,] After the 
Kyries, etc., all should remain kneeling for silent prayer, 
and it will help everybody if the priest first says : * Let 
us now pray in silence for two minutes' or three, or 
more, as the case may be. This done, the priest or 
any of the friends may say a few prayers in a low 
voice, always of course if time permits, Thus all will 
be knit together in a spirit of intense and earnest sup- 
plication, and God's presence will be with them and his- 
Spirit will sink into their souls. Then the priest stands 
and blesses the oil (if it be not already set apart) with 
the prayer ' Almighty Lord God/ Then he takes the 
stock and the cotton in his left hand (or the clerk takea 
tt, if there be a clerk), and going to the sick person, 
he dips his right thumb into the stock, and with his thumb 


makes the sign of the cross upon the sick matfs fore- 
head, saying the form 'As with this visible oil. He 
then passes the cotton rag gently over the sick man s 
forehead so as to spread the oil and remove what is 
superfluous; and after, he wipes his own fingers thereon. 
(The cotton may be put on the fire now or whenever 
is convenient) Then, after having knelt for a few 
moments' silent prayer, the priest very _ solemnly pro- 
Bounces the blessing, standing over the sick person and 
signing him with the sign of the cross; and then again, 
i/the?e is time, all may kneel in the Silence for one 
minute or more. The priest then goes out, after a few 
words of inspiration and cheer as he presses the patient s 

^i1t^b g eto b ndered at that so beautiful, .so Spirit- 
bearing a rite as this should often cause the sick person 
to recover? In any case it must bring great inward 
s?ren^h and comfort, and we know that the body is 
often changed by the condition of the soul We know 
also that the health of the spirit is what we have first to 

" [Confession and Absolution from the Communion 


" Let us pray. 


"Lord have mercy. 
" Christ have mercy. 
"Lord have mercy. 

"Our Father. 

" V. O Lord save thy servant 
[As in the former service.] 

" Let us pray. 
I" O Lord, look down . * . As in the former service:} 

" O Almighty God, who art the giver of all health, and 
the aid of them that seek to thee for succour, we call 
upon thee for thy help and goodness mercifully to be 

FORMS 419 

showed upon this thy servant; that he being healed of 
his infirmities, may give thanks unto thee in thy holy 
Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

" O Almighty Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, 
we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our 
hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the 
works of thy commandments; that through thy most 
mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be pre- 
served in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ. Amen. 

" Then the Clerk, or one of the friends present, shall say: 

" God give a blessing to this work ; And grant that 
this sick Person on whom the Priest lays his hands, may 
recover, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

"Silent Prayer. 

" Then the Minister, standing by the sick Person, shall 
lay both his hands upon the head of the same, saying 
these words. 

"In the Name of God most high, mayest thou be 
given release from pain, and may thy soul be restored 
into harmony with his immortal laws. In the Name of 
Jesus Christ, the Prince of Life, may new life come 
into thy human body. In the Name of the Holy Spirit, 
mayest thou have inward health and the peace which 
passeth understanding. 

" And the God of all peace himself sanctify you wholly ; 
and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, 
without blame at the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ 


"[Psalm 91* * Whoso dwelleth under the defence of 
the most high.'] , 

" The Almighty God, who is a most strong tower (as 
in the former service), 

" Unto God's gracious mercy (as *n the fornver ser- 

" Silent Prayer, 

** Public thanksgiving should be made in Church after 


" Achille," 157-9 
Acts of the Apostles, 103, 


JEsculapius, 248, 278 
Alternating Personalities, 42 
Ambrose, St., 248-9, 270 
America, 313, 346-7 
Anne, -Queen, 296, 297 
Apostolic Constitutions, 238, 


Arachova, 315 
Art, 16-17 
Atom, 19 
Augustine, St, 119, 181, 250, 


BACCI, P. J., 72-3 
Badelcy, T,, 385 
Baur, F. K., 380-5 
Bode, 239, 262-3, 276-7, 353-8 
Benedict. St., 287 
Benedict, XIV, 289 
Benlivegni, 98 
Bernard, St., 358-60 
Bernheim, H., 55, 97* *04 42 
Bertrin, G., 322, 410-13 
Beth Shan, 313 
Biggs, Dr., of Lima, 32 
Binet, A., 6s 
Bishops, 196, 237-241 
Blake, 350 

Blessing. Healing by, 3#* 362, 
383, See also " Cross/' and 

h Laying on of Hands " 
Blumhardt, Pastor, 393-8 
Blushing, 34-7:, 52 
Btfhm-Davidott, 64 
Bone, 70* 77 xi3 

Borrow, G. } 273 

Boswell, 297 

Brain, 24-29, 48, 51-2, 107- 


B ram well, M., 44, 97 
Bread, Healing by, 256-7, 262 
Brotherhood, 5, 13 
Brunner, S., 380 
Butler, Bishop, 202 
Butler, Josephine, 367-70 
Burot, 55 

CAJ&TAN, 234 
Cancer, 106, no 
Canon, 302, 308 
Carter, A. K., 76 
Catacombs, Rome, 274-5 
Catharine, of Siena, St. 217, 

Cclano, Thomas of, 362 

Cells, 64-71, 73 

Charcot, J, M., 33, 92, 94, 106 

Charismata, 237 

Charles I, 296 

Charles II, 295-6 

Charrin, A., 53, 56, 57 

" Christian Science/' 124-5, 

313, 324 

Chrysostom, St, 268 
Church History, 103 
Cilia, 71 

Clark, Andrew, 89 
Clouston, T. S., 20, 108, 109 
Coirin, 105-6 
Colet, 232 
Constantinople, 278 
Cortex, Brain, 28, 48, 51, 108- 

Cosmas and Damian, Sts,, 278 




Cros, J. M., 371 , 

Cross, Healing by sign of, 

354. 36o, 36i, 3^2, 3^3* 372, 


Cuthbert, St., 262-3, 276-7 
Cyrus and John, Sts., 269, 278, 

DEMONIAC possession, 154- 

160, 288 
Deacon, T., 394 
De Augustinis, 234 
Delboeuf, 32, 44 
Dentist, 96 
Deubner, L., 278 
" Devil" and "Daemon/* 154, 


Disciples, 182-201, 205 
Disease, 72-78 
Digestion, 60-61 
Dittus, Cure of the Sisters, 


Doctors, 77, 89-90, 335-7 
Doyle, Bishop J., 385 
Dreams, 43-44 
Drugs, 8o-$i, 90-91, 265-7 
Drunkenness, 58 
Dubois, P., 101, 326 
Durand, 91 

EDDY, Mrs., 313, 3^4 
Edward the Confessor, St., 

282, 287, 294 
Egyptians, 278 
Electricity, 18-19 
Elisha, 271 
Energy, 18-19 
Ennemoser, 124 
Epidermis, 66 
Epidemic diseases, 83-85, 222- 

Eucharist, 211-2, 307-8, 339- 

Eucharist, Healing by the, 

250, 369, 384. 385-7, 399- 


Evelyn, 296, 298 
Evidence, 103, 290, 323-5 
Evidential (miracles), i<5o- 

174, 202-9 

Exorcism, 154-60, 198, 244- 
5. 247, 3p2, 395- See also 
11 Damoniac Possession 

FAITH, 136-40, 163-68, 197 
Fleury, M. de, 93, 94, 129 
Forel, A., 24, 25, 55, 97 
Fox, George, 376-7 
France, Anatole, 94, 
Francis of Assisi, St., 3l-34> 


Francis Xavier, St., 371-2 
Frangois de Paris, 105-6 

GAMES, 62 

Genevieve, St., 240, 269 
George, St., 269, 315 
Germain of Auxerre, St., 239 
Gifts of healing, 212-15 
Goddard, H. H., 104, 406 
Gospels, 102, 141-2, 203-4 
Goulseff, E. E., 399 
Grace, 330-1 
Gray, 69 
Greece, 314-20 
Greenhill, W., 296 

HAMILTON, M., 263, 266, 278- 

80, 314-318 

Harnack, A., 149, 172-3* a?5. 
Healing, spiritual. Sec " bpir- 

itual " 

Health, 72-78, 341-2 
Heresy, 12 

" Higher Thought," 125 
Hilarion, St., 258 
Hippolytus, Canons of t 255 
HirschlafF, 97 
Hohenlohc, Prince, 379^7 
Holland, 11, S., ij 
Holy Spirit, 52, 122 
Humphrey, W, ? 235 
Hutton, R. H., aoo-i 
Huxley, T. 1L, 25* tf>> 45, 337 
Hypnotism, cX^-8 130 
Hysteria, 33 ? 9%> 104-5 

Incubation, 278-80 



Infant, 57, S9-6o, 62-3 
Inner-health movement, 3-4, 

139, 346-7 

Innocent I, 239 

Intercession of Saints, Heal- 
ing by, 178, 200, 249-50, 
270-1, 279-81, 3*3 316-18, 
364. See also "Relics," 
41 Shrines/' "Pilgrimages" 

Ireland, 312 

Irenseus, St., 244-6 

Irving, Edward, 287 

JAMES, ST., 227-9 

James I, 294 

James, W., 3, 32, 347 

Janet, P., 42, 93, 157, *59 

Jerome, St, 258, 276 

John, St., I47-&, 207 

John, P'ather, of Cronstadt, 


John of Beverley, St., 353-358 
Johnson, Dr., 296 
Jolly, Bishop, 305 
Justin Martyr, St., 243-4 

KING'S Evil, 293-9 

LAMBETH Conference, 253-6, 

306, 300-n 
Lamps, 266-7 
Lane, W. Arbuthnot, 58 
Lankester.E. Ray, 84, 222-3 
Laycock, T., 38, 90 
Laying-on of Hands, 175, 198, 

Instances, 245-6, 356-7, 358, 
367-8, 373, 377, 379, 388, 
39% 393* 394-5- 

Service for, 418 
Leucocytes, 67-i) 
Lu'beault, 92, 93 
Liegois, 08 
Lilicnthaf, 98 
Liver, 56 
Lodge, 0,, 19 
Lombroso, 93 

Lourdes, 93, 104, 321-8, 410*3 
Ldwenicld, L. 97 

Lower, W., 295 
Lowrie, W., 276 
Luke, St., 146-7 
Lunatics, 315-6 
Luther, 370 

Lyttleton, Bishop, 181, 191, 


Maguire, J. R, 388-90 

Mariazell, 313 

Mark, St., 103, 143-4 

Martin, St., 260-1 

Matter, 17-19, 28 

Matthew, St., 144-6 

Mathew, Father, 387-91 

McDougall, W., 129 

Mediaeval teaching, 230-31, 
234, 236, 

Medical science, 79-85, 221-6 

Meditation, 348-9 

Melanchthon, ,370 

Mennas, St., 275 

" Mental," 120 

Mental healing. See " Mind- 
cure " 

" Mental science," 406 

Microbes, 56, 65, 67, 73 80, 
82-85, iio-u, 158, 222-24 

Mind, 28 

Mind-cure, 88-99, 107-15, 120- 

Ministers of Healing, 77-8, 

123-5, 182-7, 190, 195-6, 

Miracle, 90, 117-20, 131, 169, 

183-4, 288-92, 331 
Missionary, 5-6 
Mitchell, Weir, 72 
Moll, A., 97, 08 , 
Montgeron, Carre de, 106 
Morison, J, Cotter, 359-60 
Mozley, J. B., 202 
Muscles, 24 
Myers, A. T 7 325-7 
Myers, F. W. H., 41-42, 128, 

13 *> 156, 325-7 

te, Bishop L G., 308 



NAAMAN, 263 

Naples, 313 

Naum, St., 316 

Nerves, 23-9, 30, 53, 70, 87, 

108-9, 116 

Nerve-centres, 51-63 
Nervous energy, 129 
Neuroses, 100-5, IO 7 
Newman, J. H., 203 
Non jurors, 302 
Normandy, 313 
Nurses, 340 

OIL. See "Unction" 
Organic diseases, 100 
Origen, 247-8 
Osmosis, 67 
Overmind, 58-63 
Oxyrhynchus, 17 

PAGAN healing, 124 

Pain, 139-40* 216-26, 333 

Paralysis, 94 

Parasitic diseases, 72-8, 80- 

85, 105, 222-3 

Parkyn, H. A., 401 

Pascal, 293, 374 

Paul, St., 46, 49> 194-5, 197, 
198-9, 207-19 

Peckham, Archbishop, 231 

" Peculiar People," 312 

Pepys, 294, 296 

Perier, Marguerite, 374 

Personality, 42 

Peter, St., 197, 207 

Peter Lombard, 231 

Phagocytes, 67-9 

Philip Neri, St., 372-4 

Pilgrimages, 281-5 

Possession. See " Demoniac " 

Powell, L. P., 313 

Prayer, Healing by (specially 
mentioned), 245, 277, 354, 
357, 360, 361, 363, 3fe 366, 
367, 368, 369, 37i, 372, 376, 
377, 378, 379, 38i, 383, 388, 
390, 392, 394, 395, 396, 399 

Prayer Book of 1549, 300-1 

Prayer Book of 1552, 301, 


Priests, 196, 237-41, 336-9 
Prince, Morton, 156 
Prudentius, 276 
Prussia, 312 
Puller, F. W., 229-31, 240, 

264, 309 
Puritanism, 293 

Quimby, P. P., 3*3 


Rapp, M. M., 396 

Ratisbonne, M. T., 359 

Rebmarin, 54 

Recovery, 74, 78 

Reflex action, 28, 55 

Relics, Healing by, 246, 249, 

269-78, 374 
Renan, 118 
Resurrection of body, 21-2, 

IRhenterghem, Van, 402 

Rickets, 57 

Robertson, Ford, 26 

Roman Catholic teaching, 

228-9, 232-6, 238 
'.Romanes, G* J., 155 
Russian Church, 6, 257 
Ryle, R. J., 102 

SABATIER, P., 361 
Sacramentalism, 14-17 
Saints, 7 
Saints (Invocation), See 

" Intercession " 
Saints, Shrines of English, 


Salivary glands, 60 
" Sally Bcauchamp," 156 
Salmond, igi 
Salvation, 85, 343-7 
Schofkld, A, 1,, 30, 54, 5$, 90 
Scottish Church, 305 
Scudamore, W. ., 269 
Seckendorf!, 370 



Serapion, Sacramentary of, 

Severin, St., 269 

Shakers, 313 

Shrines, 281-5. See "Rel- 

"Signs," 117, 169, 193, 331, 

Simeon Stylites, St., 238 

Sin, 222-3 

Sleep, 43 

Sophronius, 266, 279 

Soul, 45-50, n 6 

Sozomenus, 266 

Spencer, H., 27 

Spirit, 45-50, 116 

Spiritual environment, 127- 

3> X 32 

Spiritual gifts, 120-3 
Spiritual healing, 92-3, 114-5, 


Stephen, St., 208 
Stevenson, R. L,, 44 
Stigmatisation, 31-35 
Strong, T. B,, 347 ^ 
Subconsciousness, 68, See 

" Undermnul " 
Subliminal Sec " Under- 

mincl " 

Suggestion, 91, 98-99, 133-6 
Superstition, 9 
Surgery, 77 
Swedenborg, 287 


Acts, The, 103-4 
Bernheim's Cases, 402-6 
Christ, Healing Works of, 

150-3, 203-4 

Disciples and Non-Disci- 
ples, 185-6, 189-90 
Early Fathers, 246 
Epistles, The, 200-10 
Gospels, The Four, 143-8 
Lourdes Cases, 410-3 
** Mental Science " cases, 


Nerve-centre levels, 51 
Parkyn's cases, 401 

Saints in appendix, 290 
Van Rhenterghem's cases, 

Tacitus, 177 

Taygetos, 315 

Tears, 60 

Telepathy, Healing by, 178-9 

Temptation of Christ, 221 

Tennyson, 16 

Tenos, 316-8 

Tertullian, 252 

Testamentum Domini, 259 

Theodelinda, 275 

Theodore St., 261-2 

Theodulph of Orleans, 230 

Therapon, St., 278 

Thomas of Hereford, St., 

Thorn in the Flesh, 216-26 

Touch, Healing by, 176, 369, 
370, J7J, 372, 389, 390, See 
also " Laymg-on of Hands. 
See also "King's Evil" 

Tourette, 98 

Towne, E., 220^-1 

Trench, Archbishop, 121, 169 

Trent, Council of, 231, 233 

Triidel, Dorothea, 391-3 

Tuberculosis, 83-4 

Tuke, D. Hack, 92, 109, 112 

UNCTION", 175, 227-41, 251-60, 

263-4, 267, 300-11, 337 
Instances, 238, 239, 252, 258- 

62, 264, 265, 268-9 
Service for, 414-8 
Undermind, 38-45, 51-63* 73~ 
78, 134-6 

VASO-MOTOR system, 36, 53-4f 

56, 69, 109, "6 
Verrallj Mrs,, 42 
Vespasian, 1577 
Vicarious faith, 167-8 
Virchow, R. 73 
Visitation of Sick in B.C.P., 

5502, 306, 3$> 344 
Vis medkatrix, 76, 127 



WALKING, 62-3 

Water, Healing by, 256-63, 

, J., 377-9 
Westcott, Bishop, 169, 182 
Whittier, 142 
Wicked, healing by the, 124- 

5, 186, 248 
Winifred, St., 281 
"Wisdom," 122 

Witches, 288 

Women and Mind-cure, 92 

Word, Healing by, 175-6, 199, 

Wordsworth, 15, 20 
Wordsworth, Bishop J., 305-6 
"Works," 117, 162, 183 
Wurzbach, 380 

ZUNDEL, F., 394, 395, 396